Shape & size
In spring and summer, the wider variety of blooms and colour palettes allow us to create pieces where vibrant colour is centre stage. Autumn is different and our designs change to reflect this. We start to think more about shape and variety rather than simply a barrage of colour; the greater simplicity can be rather charming and focusses the eye to appreciate form and subtle tones.
We like to look for small or intricate varieties of blooms or foliage, often breaking them down to a small single leaf or stem.
Where to get your flowers
Garden: Our annual glut of dahlias is nearing its end, but a few that haven’t been battered by the winds and rain still stand. Dahlias (quite surprisingly) press really beautifully. We deconstruct the petals to get the best results and find they hold their colours really well! Other picks in the garden at the moment include dianthus, the last nigella (love in a mist), cosmos, salvia, sorbus and clematis.
When picking from further afield make sure you know the rules and regulations:
Cultivated flowers: It is illegal to pick any flowers grown by councils (such as in parks and on roundabouts and verges) or on private properties (unless you have had prior permission from the owner).
Wildflowers: Picking wildflowers and foliage in Britain has caused much confusion and controversy. If you want to pick leaves and flower stems this is absolutely allowed however it is illegal to uproot (dig up) any wild plant without permission from the landowner. You also can’t pick any part of a flower that is in a site of conservation such as an SSSI (Sites of Special Scientific Interest).
We are always planning ahead with our pressed pieces, to make sure we have enough pressed to last us for the next couple of months. When using blotting paper, most petals and leaves take around 3-4 weeks to press, so make sure you factor this in. Normal paper can be slower, so add an extra week. Results are best when your press is in a warm, dry room, with good ventilation. Moisture will make your pressed flowers go mouldy so it’s really important to ensure that it’s a dry day when you pick them. You'll see best results if you press when your blooms and foliage are fresh. See below for our short guide on the pressing process.
Take inspiration from nature. Whilst it can help to have an idea of what you would like to use in advance, you should not be afraid to try pressing things that catch your eye when foraging! Sometimes the most unexpected things can lead to the most beautiful final piece.