Wednesday, September 14, 2011

herb pressing.

We love to press herbs and flowers and use them for crafts like ornaments, bookmarks, gift tags or artwork. We pick all kinds of flowers - from lilacs and violets to those lovely flowers atop the arugula going to seed and dill tops.

Pressing flowers is nice because they are so colorful even months later when peeled from between the pages. But we also love to press herbs and leaves. We are always picking different things and experimenting. Some may be for our quest to see if we remember what they are later, or just using something that caught the eye of A or G.

We also love pressing things for ... smell. There is something quite heady about getting a whiff of an herb in January during a blizzard. We try different things to see what holds the smell best. We do dehydrate herbs for culinary uses but they turn dark and crinkle in the dehydrator so all we get is smell. Pressing in a flower press we keep color and shape and often the scent!

So throughout the summer we will remember to pick and press for both crafts and smell. This week we heard that we might get an early frost and could lose the delicate greenery. Which means it was the perfect time to pick. One of our presses is full of summer flowers, but we still had some space in the second one.

We picked all kinds of things - remembering or wondering which would be best later.

We picked flowering herb tops such as hyssop, chocolate mint, spearmint, lemon balm, tiny dill heads, shisho, thai basil, purple basil. We picked other leafy herbs like celery tops, thyme, marjoram, cilantro, and fennel. And of course the boys picked some other things that looked interesting like nasturtium flowers, lilacs, a piece of tomato leaf (G wants to sniff it later!), and some clover just for good luck. They wanted to save all the four leaf clover so they will have good luck all winter, so they searched and searched. ;)

I am interested to see if the celery still smells in 4 months!

What do you think would retain its scent best?


Tara said...

I think the basil will retain it's fragrance best ~ our basil plants are very pungent but in a delightful way!

Lovely idea!

Sam said...

I never thought of pressing herbs and saving the smell for the middle of winter! I love the fresh tomato smell :-)

verdemama said...

The mint. Maybe. I think the smell of tomato leaves would be delightful in winter.

Anonymous said...

pressing herbs and their flowers is such a fantastic idea. Denise, you've given me yet another reason to look forward to summer :) thanks!!

Francesca said...

we made a flower press last spring, and never remembered to make a herbarium as planned!! let us know whether the herbs retain their scent when pressed.