Pressed Flowers from Riverhaven Virginia G. McKinnon Email:


Preserving flowers by pressing dates back to earliest recorded history. Specimens have been found in Egyptian tombs and between the pages of old books. In most instances, the presser wanted to preserve a flower associated with a special occasion, a valentine bouquet, a wedding, or, yes, a funeral. In modern times, flower pressing has flourished in England. Young ladies brought home from a holiday or a walk in the country, flowers gathered on that happy occasion and pressed them between the pages of books. The flowers were often too bulky to give up their moisture before mold developed. Sometimes the pressed material was later arranged in a frame, and sometimes it was forgotten, left to be discovered by a future generation.

Some very elaborate valentines, decorated with pressed flowers, were made in Victorian times and still exist today. If the card was saved between the pages of a book, hidden from light, it probably is still in good condition. Queen Victoria was an enthusiastic flower presser. Reportedly she pressed most of the flowers from her beloved Albert’s funeral.

Joanna Sheen is probably the best-known flower craft artist in England today. She has expanded her art into a large business, employing helpers, and selling her pictures by mail order around the world. Most London flower shops display her pictures for sale. I bought a small one at Harrods, treasuring it as if it were a work of an old master.

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