Sustainable Flower And Garden Conference

Recently I was one of the guest, keynote speakers at the State University of NY at Farmingdale in Long Island.  It was a conference I was so honored to speak because  I never thought I would see one of its kind on the subject of my passions & work-agriculture that saves the environment and its inhabitants,  local farming, history of flowers, and-my US grown flowers to centerpiece movement.

The event is called The Sustainable Garden Conference which benefits their Sustainable Garden Dept. of Urban Horticulture & Design program; however I saw the real benefit as what it brought to all those attending.    Years ago, colleges had no sustainable programs at all much less on horticulture; you went like me for environmental science and forestry-that was option 1 and 2.  Now there are a whole new group of college curriculum emerging in all fields of sustainability across the country.

The presentations within this conference examined:

  • why locally grown flowers & food fell out of favor
  • why the growth of international flower markets dominate the industry
  • sustainable growing for planet, creatures and people alike
  • what opportunities exist here for local production agriculture.

The array of speakers went from landscape designing with native species, helping our failing pollinators , the local flower movement, non GMO varieties, natural strategies for flower diseases, finding  edible flowers, and myself who examined it all as an ecologist,  floral designer and florist owners point of view .  And… how I started eco-green floristry until now.

How wonderful a day was that for me?  Everything I passion and live for, continually promote and work at, in an all day conference.   I joined up with Cornell U horticultural specialists about helping our bees and butterflies, listened on agricultural chemical use, I molded with local growers and those that want to be, I absorbed intently about historical botanical prints and cooking with flowers (cooking has much mystery for me), and I repaid by giving details of all my transformations and advocacy to a fascinated public.

Lynn Mehl speaking on green floristy

Here I am-telling my story

It’s not every day you get to be amongst a large audience of the same mind and passion, kind of like fans at a Yankee game but deeper.  We ecologists and environmentalists think with our soul, not our pocketbook or for corporate growth.   I am so used to being the lone wolf out, that it nearly overwhelms you with emotion and glee.  I was with my pack.    As I always get at these like minded events; I was smitten, and I was giddy.  So giddy that my notes were useless so I just shuffled them around and went with my heart.  It was a rapt audience.   It kind of put me to mind of a Stephen King novel….there really are others out there ,  believing as I that we can do something to save the world-or at least our part of it. .

I came away with a renewed hope that the planet does have a chance and so do US grown flowers & food if we all give them a chance and patronize them.   Long Island was once one of the growing capitols in the East at the turn of the century, and it has seen resurgence with many new boutique food, flower, and wine growers emerging.  I see it also in NJ and upstate NY in the Catskill/Adirondack region.  I recently acquired (yet another for my collection) an original copy of the American Florist monthly from 1919.  If you could see the lists and adverts for seeds men and growers in the US then; in the 1000’s from Illinois to Minnesota to Virginia to New York.  Where and when did they all fail?  One hundred years and now only 8% of the flowers purchased in this country at any florist, outlet, or store  are US grown.    And I have them.

1919 carnation grower in NY

A carnation grower in 1919 Flatbush NY

 I ask you always to think before you buy and use your dollars to send a corporate message.  I do not want my only choice of banana to be from Costa Rica where they plowed a mile of the rain forest for the crop.   I don’t want my only choice of cooking oil to be from an Indonesian palm oil farm that ousted the last family of orangutans to grow it.  And….  I want my beautiful and aromatic, American Beauty roses; not scentless roses from the southern hemisphere.

Believe,

Lynn :))

Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards-Some Good & Bad Things?

Hi Casey-this one’s for you and California Cut Flower Commission and Debra at Slowflowers!

**Dear friends, A little background on this post.  Martha Stewart has initiated a new program whereby she is giving various US companies an American Made award.  This is a super idea, however there is debate as to her criteria with one of the latest awards given to online startup BloomNation who promote local florists online directly to consumers with a tagline of “American Made”.  The debate stems from the fact of American Made what? There are few to no American grown flowers or products offered by the member florists so Casey Cronquist of the California Cut Flower Commission along with American Grown programs and promoters (me too!) are questioning the decision and her program.  This also opened up discussion on various areas with the industry, problems, and imported flowers in general. I have written an article of what I see and know of the industry and decided to post it on my website to also enlighten my visitors of just what is happening in the industry and to get your thoughts.  CA grown flowers Everything you posted Casey on the CCFC blog has such merit as always-applause 🙂 so you inspired me to take the time out to write and walk the line with you.  As you know, in 2001 I chose to transform my full service florist of then, over 20 years; to strictly US grown product AND to green certify the business.  Was it simple?  Definitely not back then-it was a time consuming fright, and still takes a concerted effort with a continued waiting game for some products.  But I did succeed. I found a half dozen or so who gladly shipped to me for our issue season in NY, winter.  Some may say the carbon footprint is higher to fly in US flowers, but how much-what difference whether you fly them or the wholesale house flies them?  Yes there is a footprint in every action we do every day, so whether imported or American flowers, we all have huge energy footprints in all aspects of life and business which need serious thought.  You pick your battles compensating somewhere else (like the energy it takes for those giant Chinese vases many  designers use to get here) and carbon insets and offsets are always a positive initiative. So in rebuttal-yes, it was possible to be strictly US grown even back then and for me, today it is second nature- and yes the s/h is higher but the quality, longevity, and scent are incomparable. (btw-I will always be thankful to Chad at Eufloria, Gerald at the then Organic Bqt, and Chastity at Mayesh for being the firsts to help me. 🙂    California grown roses I see there are many reasons the flower industry has problems as to why florists/designers hesitate conforming back to American grown.  Florists never had to wonder where their flowers came from, but now it takes a weekly, committed effort which most see as just one more thing to add to their already harried workday and cannot be bothered.  Adding another effort is a big issue in life today as we are all overwhelmed; it is so easy to just go on and turn a blind a eye.  Second, the competition and pressure for lower prices by mega corporations pushing flowers (many had direct flower contracts with various farms-even Whole Foods) is daunting.  They spend millions advertising (dictating) to the consumer what to buy when, and what to pay-whether for a sympathy arrangement or grand scale wedding.   With these corporate intrusions, the internet sites, the lack of expense for wage, chemical, or environmental regulations of foreign growing, a perfect climate, toss in the economy dropping in 08;  it was the perfect storm.   Soon every internet marketer signed up for an affiliate site to sell flowers to be filtered down to florists to fill, big box stepped in the game, and flowers by wire services ran with it all.  Each promoting inexpensive, imported flowers which the farms gladly sold them as it was a money dream come true to them. The exclusivity, local grown, designer arrangements, and beauty of fresh flowers was lost to capitalism. Surprising me after my change; I realized a full service florist on a daily basis does not need 40 (out-of-season) varieties weekly any more than people in the northeast need mangoes in January (you are on point Christina-that is not contributing to any form of sustainability), but what consumers do like is 20-30 of the freshest, seasonal, and most beautiful varieties of US grown flowers available- arranged creatively.  It is all about quality, the design factor, and presentation because after all, that is what a florist does and I feel they need to get back to it.  All customers, inherently do want the best quality product out there and they love creativity as well; my customers would prefer 6 US Eufloria roses over 12 SA Rio roses any day of the week.  If it is US grown-they applaud it, and applaud the store even more for caring to stand up to the system to buy quality for them against a few dollars more profit.  That creates a loyal customer like no other. southamericanglobewithflowers We should also differentiate the impact of studio designers from full service, brick & mortar florists; not by talent J but with usage.  Sites like Etsy & BloomNation are wonderful for giving in-home, solo entrepreneurs exposure without having the expense and responsibility of a storefront.  However, we have to understand that studio designers are not florists in the sense of the word, so are not the weekly, bulk purchasers supporting this multimillion dollar, import industry with the day to day orders.  Hence, the traditional florist being the largest buyer of imported flowers, (through not all fault of their own) are the ones we need to get on track first to initiate the mindset.

Bloomnation-American Made?

I looked into BloomNation at its start-up, and quickly saw it was another avenue the likes of FTD for florists and designers but without the noose as Brooke spoke of-although not without other nooses.  Also to remember, studio designers cannot participate in flowers-by-wire services without a physical storefront so this was huge for them.  In an early interview, one of the founders stated they saw a gap when trying to order flowers (Which-they could have just picked up a phone …) Upon deeper research and with input from a relative florist, they learned of the huge volume of sales and easy commissions the big 3, flowers by wire services and the 1000’s of affiliate sites were generating online from florists, and how both florists and consumers were suffering and more than unhappy with them.   It was, in their eyes, a small but massive, money making niche to fill and the idea was born.  If they continue to do it correctly and keep the fees at minimum, it may just be-but reaching the online public is another battle, as like local florists, they don’t have anywhere near the marketing budget of its entrenched, big competitors.  (Which is where offering American grown flowers is I believe one of the possible keys to saving traditional florists.) However, for this business to be given a MS American Made award (for what Slowflowers, CCFC, and myself for example are truly trying to accomplish and BloomNation is not) seems more than a technicality at best and a huge blunder for MS.  I know my industry and its products; I see the designs on BloomNation and I am also familiar with more than a few of the florists on the site and their product.  With that, I can in a minute-as I am sure you Casey and Debra can determine-the product is nearly all imported.  A few California OV stock & larkspur here, and some SV iris there, but not much more; excepting those florist members of course in CA flower farm areas. BloomNation, is obviously running with the American Made tag as a slippery marketing term and I find it hard to believe that MS advisors would send her their way.   But the flower industry in general is very unclear and even more mysterious to most, even those inside it.  This American made designation most definitely alludes to the flowers used as US grown; but as always it will be left up to the consumer to decipher, and most likely the consumer will fall victim to the confusing insinuation as usually the case.  To give them a benefit of the doubt; this may have not been their original intent (it definitely was not in the business plan I read about)-but this is how many consumers take it-as did MS.  The word American should not have come into the picture, and even a slightly more ethical term would have been “designed by local, American florists”.  But then again, as opposed to who?  Loose flowers packed in SA and shipped?  All florists in the US are both local and American who fill all the online, arranged orders anyway no matter what site an order was placed on, so the point?  The real point is no middle man, affiliate site, or flowers by wire service, which this company should have been seen by MS as just a consumer direct to florist site only; and that they are not the only one out there.

The World Is All Green-Or So They Say

This is the same happening with the terms ‘natural’ ‘fair trade’ ‘green’ ‘eco friendly’ or “sustainable’.  In marketing terms it is called green washing and every big corporation has jumped on the new green bandwagon as they now are attempting with American made.  It is the new gold in marketing-and just another way to get consumers to their brand which they never would have started if it were not the rage.  When we began seeing big energy companies making ‘clean coal’ commercials-I mean seriously now, how ridiculous is that.  Which is why new regulations are pending on many of these ‘eco’ terms including the word organic.  Again, this only confuses the consumer even more than they were and they don’t really know what they are buying.  The same goes with SA flowers and the many original & new ‘certifications’ they have. Who polices them I ask?  I am quite familiar and keep up on these certifications always hoping… (there are a lot) from Flora Verde to Rainforest Alliance and if you read the criteria (Veriflora is one of the most aggressive) you see it is very easy to do very little and be very certified something to put on the label.   But regardless, even the few commercially grown flowers certified USDA organic…are still imported, and this slippery marketing is the same with BloomNation.my grown in the usa pic cropped MS is a huge celebrity, and as many in the green arena complained when Walmart started carrying USDA organic food (from Asia), one has to look at the positive because known businesses & celebrities always give a cause a loud push of awareness.  MS American made awards I agree are a very  ‘good thing’ as she puts it; as are her ‘green’ show episodes and articles-however they are few.   With all her promotion of non earth friendly, imported craft items, out of season recipe ingredients, paints, glues, and the list goes on…it seems just another bandwagon for her to jump on as she does not honestly seem to walk either talk in her company.  (although she appears to live her personal life quite local & healthy) Giving awards like these to companies like this with obvious, little investigation or truism, just turns this ‘good thing’ to detrimental and confusing.  I think MS needs help with this one Kasey. 🙂

US FarmS Lose-SA Farms Win

On another note mentioned here; over these past dozen years I have had quite a few flower representatives from SA call me in response to my activism and writing;  they are very polite, they understand, they applaud my environmental efforts, they even invite me down expenses paid to see all the great things the flower industry does for their people. (which no conversation ever touched at the expense of our American farms which I get the feeling they see insignificant, as we are the ‘land of plenty’ and they do after all, buy our tractors and such?)  I give them all the same response, I am so sorry for their plight but I will not change my position or my mission.  As an environmentalist I feel for them and all the planet and its inhabitants; but the social, environmental, and chemical regulations are not there and even if they were, not at the expense of our own farms.  There are millions of struggling poor businesses and people in the US who need help along with mind you; one of the poorest indigenous races in the world being Native Americans.  As a buy local advocate, stocking imported products to sell local seems redundant.  As an industry advocate, selling imported flowers at the expense of our farms seems redundant.  Many florists advocate and display ‘please buy local’ signs in their windows, while with a cooler full of imported product that was delivered to them from over 50 and more miles away in a refrigerated, Toyota truck.  What’s wrong with this picture? I don’t understand why they don’t understand.

Florists Can HelpThe Change to US Grown And..Sustainable Products

Unfortunately it seems when it comes to profits, trade, and the global economy, there’s no room for activism or to follow a mission. Ask the Chinese; they import next to nothing and export everything…including the flags we so proudly wave at parades.  I say if those in the floral industry want to really make a difference, then take a stance with your passion and walk the talk, make the vow to at least educate and enlighten your customers; give them the facts and the positives to using American grown and the detriments of not.  All flower vendors need to start carrying our premium, US flowers so people can see the quality and longevity for themselves, and more importantly to just enlighten them that flowers are imported!  Wholesale houses will get a florist whatever they want as they want their business, but first the florist must ask for it. I ask all flower vendors to follow and learn from the likes of those as myself and our newest pioneers like Kasey of California Cut Flower Commission, Slowflowers, and Certified American Grown… and then, if we really want to get a crown-we need to lessen the floral foam use as that… is one the most dangerous, toxic nightmares in the industry that has silently slipped through all the cracks of warning, regulation, or recycling…buried in our soil since 1954 and still is.

Ranting through the snow....Lynn 🙂

   

The Meaning Of Tulips

The Language of Flowers reads of many flowers for translating your feelings of love.  The rose being the most popular to declare love; but we forget yet another that is just as high on the meaning list. The perfect Tulip.

French tulip bouquet  

Elaborate containers called tulipiere, were vases made in all shape and form to showcase the brilliant blooms.  We actually, have a only few of the elegant tulipiere  in the shop for sale, as they are not the easiest to come by.  The tulip rage continued until the market collapsed and the flower actually became the cause of a country’s economy dropping.

antique tulip vase The red tulip was the all powerful ‘to declare your love” with the black center of all tulips representing the lover’s heart burned to a coal by love’s passion. Indeed!  To give a yellow tulip was said to declare utterly, hopeless love. The pink tulip sends a dream love, while the white tulip is lost in love.

All tulips no matter the color declare some form of passionate love whether declared or not so you can’t go wrong with any color!

Enjoy the short giving season of all this tulip love and send tulips soon.... as this spring passion leaves us to its rival, summer love declarer by June to the beautiful rose.

Lynn 🙂

Make A Shamrock Corsage For St. Patrick’s Day

The Shamrock Corsage & Shamrock Leaves

My latest craze and new corsage or lapel.  Fresh, shiny, and long lasting galax leaves are an old fashioned leaf traditionally used surrounding a Victorian, violet nosegay.  Make your own shamrocks for pennies with my  'how to make a shamrock' on Pinterest.  Or....if you can't be bothered just call-I'll make it .  🙂                                                                                                                         A lapel or shamrock corsage for St. Patrick's Day...how cool is that.  Enjoy

st. patrick's day corsage

2014 Sochi Olympic Flower Bouquets Speak A Russian Language Of Flowers-From South America.

The Sochi Olympic bouquet flowers

The Sochi Olympic bouquet flowers

I always anticipate seeing the nearly 4500 Olympic ceremony bouquets as they usually incorporate meaning and significance by choosing flowers according to some tradition and culture of the host country.

The 2012 Olympics in Great Britain took it a sustainable step further by requiring all the flowers be grown and locally designed in the UK, all packaging be recyclable, and all the plants had to be reused.  A task for sure, as sadly  like our American Beauty rose is scarce and no longer American; 90% of flowers sold today are imported and there were minimal English roses being grown any longer; ironically the most famous flower associated with Great Britain.

Russia is in the same situation and one of the largest importers of cut flowers.  Domestically produced flowers only make up 2-3% of their flower sales with nearly all of the annual 1 billion worth of flowers coming in from Columbia, Ecuador, and Kenya. * At least unlike the US, they have kept the import duty on them.  The Soshi award bouquets incorporated the language of color to enhance the meaning along with certain varieties tailored to Russian symbols and environments. There is today, a rose crop being grown in Leningrad, but unfortunately not enough for 1000’s of bouquets.  How wonderful that would have been.

The purple statice represented the colors of the resort city of Soshi and I will venture a guess the light blue ribbons represented the crisp Russian sky.  The yellow Solidago (a cultivated goldenrod type) stood for both the goldenrod's’ healing properties and the wealth of the Krasnodar Region. The green and white button chrysanthemums represented the contrast of the valleys, meadows, and mountains along the long Black Sea coast.  The laurel signified the warmth and hospitality of the Caucasus peoples and of course the symbol of winners.  The eucalyptus was the surprise to me as they included it for the historical reference to its planting in Sochi to drain the wetlands. The bouquet was rounded out with Salal or ‘lemon’ leaf.

*photos courtesy Wiki Caucasus, Black Sea, and Krasnodar regions

*photos courtesy Wiki
Caucasus, Black Sea, and Krasnodar regions

Obviously, much thought went into the reasons behind each flower used but sadly, all the flowers were imported from South America.  Since the distance factor effects the longevity the same as the imports here in the US, hardiness I suspect was another factor in the choices.  All of the flowers are  known resilient grown with various chemicals to survive long periods without water, temperature gaps, and all the jostling they endure on the long journey.

Personally, I think President Putin did a wonderful job and put an enormous amount of thought into the Olympic celebration right down to the smallest detail of the Olympic award bouquets.  Russia has one of the most vast and beautiful landscapes with many unique cultures. The history of the country is fascinating and the architecture is unique of its own. It is obvious that he authorized millions of dollars and engaged years of creative thinking on showing the world these assets while, keeping everything in absolutely good taste.  I am sure there were many other details that were inherently Russian but unfortunately the flowers were anything but.

*MoscowNews

Autumn Decorating With Bittersweet Vine

How perfect this owl and not impressed with the beautiful berries

Everyone loves what has been named bittersweet for autumn decorating.  Surprisingly, it is not the original bittersweet botanically; but yet a Solanum genus of Nightshade was first designated as such; which is not a cousin, relative, or even lookalike.    Through the centuries names get coined or interpreted and now to us what we know as bittersweet is just bittersweet, botanically incorrect or not.

 Next to pumpkins and maple trees, there is no match for the display it puts on a front door, or beautiful country table.  It rambles, it diverts, and it goes around and out west.  It is a free spirited thing that has no rhyme or reason, which is what I adore about it the best.  I work with what shape it gives me with no two designs the same-love it.  As Willow and I walked this morning, the woods seemed ablaze from the vibrant yellow and orange berries….everywhere we looked.   Alongside us, around us, hanging from the trees, and shooting out to grab our feet.  As we stood looking, I wondered if we stayed too long if we too would be wound up in this voracious vine.  For ever so long, it seemed a difficult quest every year to locate nice bittersweet for the store; and now here we stood with it about to attach itself to us.

Why All The Bittersweet

 So today, there are 2 vines we commonly refer to as bittersweet, and to a wanderer’s eye, barely different.  Our American bittersweet indigenous to North America is Celastrus Scandens and then we have the Oriental bittersweet invader of Celastrus Orbiculata, introduced from the Orient in the mid 1800’s as an ornamental and for erosion control. Hmm, as usual when you upset an ecosystem it never seems to come to a good end; I think we should have left it where it was. It is a foreign strangler, incredibly invasive and a real menace taking over in 25 states as far west as Montana.

Our Bittersweet

 We have nearly picked & decorated ourselves out of ours to where the NY State DEC named it a protected plant.  They have listed it as “”exploited and vulnerable”;  including it on their list to be officially, designated as rare.  Every plant has a specific purpose on the planet, none are useless and just weeds as many say.  Long ago before decoration; Native Americans knew to use it medicinally, for color pigment, and its vines for rope and weaving baskets.   So, if you are so lucky as to have our bittersweet; please try to encourage it to grow and protect it because we are losing it to a rival import.  If you would like to have your own American bittersweet seeds and plants; they can be purchased at various nurseries and seed houses across the country.

Is it American or Not

Like us humans the plants are basically the same yet different.  Ours has a larger berry of course; isn’t everything bigger, better, and louder in America?  🙂   However, unless you have a branch of each side by side it is difficult to go by berry alone.  The best things to look for are just 2 characteristics.  Ours has an elliptical leaf with berry clusters at the tips of the branches.  While our invaders have a bit rounder leaf with berry clusters all over the vine; wherever the leaves are attached.  Yes, what you mostly see everywhere and probably on your door right now is the invader; this bittersweet gang is trying to take over our turf and a woods war is on.  The oriental is tougher than ours; it smothers trees and crowds our low growth plants; and displacing our own through competition and hybridization.   You can always tell a gratefully freed, tree that spent its life encased with it by the scars the vines left.

Let’s Level the Field

The plant world is not much different from ours, as we are part of the same kingdom.  So being we all love bittersweet for decorating, lets level the playing field some.  One positive; many bird species eat the berries, as do other pollinators.   Whether you gather or purchase your bittersweet, first try to discern if it is American or Oriental.   If Oriental , which most is; decorate and craft carefully as any berries or cut stems can and will winter over and root in the Spring.  For this reason, and especially when the decorations are taken down; don’t add them to a compost pile or roadside where the seeds can germinate or the vines can root.  Spent vines and wreaths should be cut up and placed in a box or bag to dry –along with their dried berries.  In the spring they can then be disposed of with your normal trash.

 Plants are far from mindless, they are opportunists and survivalists. So decorate away because Autumn without bittersweet is like Winter without holly; just keeping in mind that every action has a reaction, even with the wily bittersweet.

     

Save Your Flowers-Easy Victorian Flower Pressing

Now that your garden is in full glory it’s time for autumn, and soon they will be gone.  This lament has been going on for 100’s of years but no generation has done more for celebrating nature than the Victorians.  They were enamored with it, obsessed over it, and came up with ingenious ideas to save it. Pressing is the easiest, the quickest, and most cost effective idea; and all my phone books and catalogs are always in use.  Instead of lamenting “…oh no…another phone book” reuse and collect them instead.  Pressing is a very eco-minded craft.

As one who preserves flowers for a living; I think pressing flowers is one of the most versatile methods.  The genre of projects is endless; from decorated pictures, cards, lampshades, tables, frames; it just goes on.  Pressed flowers can decorate nearly anything you can imagine.  I have a low basket on my home side table overflowing with autumn leaves I have pressed every year.  As a tree lover of course I would, but it is actually an autumn  ritual now for me to find and add new pressed leaves ever year.

My favorite project

My favorite project

The Tools For Pressing Flowers

This is a nice short list!

  • Flowers/plants
  • Bricks/heavy books
  • Newspapers/magazines/phonebooks
  • White glue
  • Scissors & tweezers

 Sounds like kindergarten, and it is except with adult patience!  Everything we already have in the home, with nothing to buy except the item you are decorating them with, and then I don’t believe even that is a need.  I am sure, no… I am positive that if you look around your home you have an unused frame or some such object that could stand a use or updating.  Just think outside the normal use of an item;  try looking in the attic with a different eye.    I usually just stare at something for awhile and it will come to me.

 What Is Good For Pressing

Having a garden is not a criteria, but if you do-hooray for you.  Instead, having a watchful eye is the key.  Anywhere I go I see endless possibilities for pressing. You can press both cultivated & roadside flowers (actually roadsides and fields offer the delicate wispy things that you will find are integral to a project), leaves, evergreens, ferns, grasses, thin vines & twigs, berries, and even moss.  While you are looking, always keep that eye for the occasional gift of a feather, an abandoned egg shell, or spent bee or butterfly.

How to Press Flowers

There is only one thing that is integral-the items should be fairly dry to the touch.  However, my favorite time for collecting fall leaves is right after a windy, autumn rain; the selection is amazing, and the colors seem brighter.  I just quickly blot them dry with a towel.

 The premise of pressing is just as the word says and you need two components; some sort of paper and weight.  You are pressing an item between two paper objects to soak the moisture and the weight is to flatten them.  You can have items between 2-3 pages layers of newspapers under a brick topped board or even your mattress.   I've been known to put them everywhere, even under the cable box (heat makes them dry faster) and my shoe boxes.   Magazines and books are the easiest and space saving as you top one on the other; which creates even more weight.

 This is the 1-2-3-method I use:

1-Lay your items out on the paper-spaced so they don’t touch

2-Layer 2-3 paper layers on top again or inside a book/magazines pages.  Repeat for the next layer

3-For newspapers/magazines-lay a cookie sheet filled with something heavy like bricks, stones or a board with some flat heavy item on it.

That’s it!  Keep them for about 2-3 weeks like this and you will have a bouquet of pretties to display or use on a project.  Questions?  I am here to educate so just email me at Lynn@goodolddaysflorist.com.

And absolutely send me pictures of your projects. I will be showcasing photos and choosing a winner for a $50.00 “native bouquet”!  Yay.

Have fun-Lynn

*floating leaf  frame photo courtesy of the Pressed Flower Guild-love it