“On Days Like These” Pressing and Drying Leaves and Flowers

Summer's loss
Seems little, dear! on days like these.

~ Ernest Christopher Dowson

“On days like these” the leaves on our Redbud and Ash Trees glowed golden yellow in the sunlight and to our delight the double breasted cormorants that winter here glided into our cove by the hundred’s.

“On days like these” geese flew by in waves with the swoosh of their wings heard, before they were seen silhouetted against autumn blue skies.

“On days like these” leaves drifted by on wayward breezes and looked fetching against the green backdrop of grass.

Just look at all these glorious, autumn leaves I collected and preserved!

Scarlet Sweet Gum leaves, Burgundy Japanese Maple leaves, Burning Bush leaves, and yellow Redbud leaves
Burnt orange Sycamore leaves, yellow Redbud leaf, and burgundy Japanese Maple leaves

Our winter’s come delightfully late here in East Texas and our first freeze of the year wasn’t predicted until Monday night, the last night in November. That afternoon I carried my outdoor plants into the greenhouse where Richard was busy getting our heating system and thermometer all set up. After I got all the plants tucked away in their winter home, I went around the yard and clipped as many flowers as I could. Knockout Roses, impatiens, chrysanthemums, and Encore Azaleas were still blooming beautifully and the bouquet in my hands kept getting bigger and bigger, since I hated to leave any blossoms. I had lots to work with and made some sweet little arrangements to place around the house.

A cluster of azaleas drape over the edge of this pink and green sorbet dish. Richard bought this miniature violin for me. The strings actually pluck and are wound into the pegs!

Deep red-orange chrysanthemums look striking against the green of a Depression Glass sugar bowl. Look at this sweet little antique vinegar & oil caddy with salt and pepper shakers I recently found on a trip we took to Branson.

Take a detour with me for a moment and look at 3 more treasures I found on our trip…these green Depression Glass shakers! I’m keeping them in the Cottage Greenhouse; they’ll be perfect for storing seeds I gather from my flowers.

Back to leaf and flower pressing! (: The rest of my gathering’s I laid out on paper towels to press and dry beneath a pile of heavy books. It is so satisfying drying flowers, ferns, or leaves – and being able to use them later to decorate a tablescape, make a centerpiece, or use them in some other project adds another dimension of enjoyment.

How to Press Leaves & Flowers

  1. Choose leaves that are fresh and supple…and flowers that are NOT densely petaled
  2. Place items you want to press on a paper towel or newspaper, making sure the leaves/flowers do not overlap
  3. Place another paper towel or newspaper on top of the items you are pressing
  4. Place the sandwiched leaves/flowers inside a heavy book, or stack heavy books or objects on top of the paper towel “sandwich” and keep in a dry location
  5. In approximately 2 weeks the pressed leaves/flowers will be completely dry and ready to use

Next post I plan to show you a fun and easy project using some of my pressed leaves. Hope you enjoy these last days of autumn and have fun gathering leaves and pressing them.

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

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Author: cottagegreenonthelake

I hope the pictures of tablescapes, home decor, seasonal decorations, floral arrangements, landscaping ideas, "potting about the shed" and the unexpected ways I use everyday items to decorate my home on "Cottage Green on the Lake" will be an inspiration for you as you make your own little haven and nest … 4 the seasons! From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

11 thoughts on ““On Days Like These” Pressing and Drying Leaves and Flowers”

  1. Hi, it’s lovely to find your blog. I enjoyed this post, loved hearing all about an East Texan autumn and enjoyed seeing all your little arrangements and antique collectors items.

  2. You are such an inspiration! I have been known to “tuck and forget” leaves and blossoms, only to open the book and be pleasantly surprised. I look forward to your upcoming project. Meanwhile, I need to collect some leaves!

    1. Oh Patricia, we are kindred spirits! My best loved books hold forgotten treasures of happy days gone by. It’s always such an unexpected and lovely surprise when I turn to a pressed leaf or flower and revisit the memory of the day when I collected it. Thank you so much for writing, you encouraged me.
      ❤ Trenda

  3. Trends, once again I enjoyed your blog about autumn and the beautiful colors that this season brings us to enjoy!! My favorite time of the year!! The pressed leaves in books and put in frames to hang on the walls have always been something that I have wanted to do but never have done!! I am looking forward to your next blog on this!! I LOVE your cottage greenhouse and the trinkets that you purchased in Branson!! This greenhouse will bring so much joy in your life as much as your blogs bring to me!! I look forward to following you in how to press these beautiful colored leaves into something more beautiful!! You are truly blessed !!

    1. Dear Pat, you are so kind. Your gracious words made me aspire to write even more! I’m so glad you liked seeing some of the treasures I found. I found lots more, but wasn’t sure if everyone would care to see them all. (; I do love my Cottage Greenhouse and seem to find all kinds of things to do in there that keep me busy. Right now, there are 2 large containers out there filled with water and Noble Fir boughs just waiting for me to transform into something Christmas-y.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write. ❤ Trenda

  4. Love this! I remember we did this as kids, but without the beautiful end results you get now! (What did we know? We were just little girls, trying to keep a flower pretty FOREVER!) 🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

    GREAT TIPS! So glad to find this post waiting for me…Christy 💜

    1. HaHa…little and big girls like to keep their flowers pretty, forever!
      When I was a little girl, I was enchanted when I saw an actress put a flower in a book. I went out and got my own flower and smashed it inside a big book. I didn’t know to put a piece of paper or a paper towel on either side of the flower. I was dismayed when I opened my book later and saw the book pages were stained. Funny, sweet memories.
      Thank you for writing, Christy! ❤ Trenda

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