Botanical Cards


This note card was the inspiration for my pbmGarden Gravatar

Yesterday I came across some pictures of note cards I created using pressed flowers from my garden. When they were finished I passed along the cards as a gift and never thought to create any more.

I made these in in January 2008 and I decided to post them today as a reminder to myself to try it again sometime.

These are some of the leaves and flowers I pressed between waxed paper paper towels, weighted down with heavy books, and later reassembled to create the cards:

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)







31 thoughts on “Botanical Cards

  1. Cathy

    I love that idea Susie. I used to press a lot of wildflowers, hoping to creat my own herbarium, but lack of time put that project to rest! However, I am so glad you have reminded me of my flower press, and I will try and use it this year. I must try waxed paper, as the colours seem to have lasted well on yours – I have always used “blotting paper” until now.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I like your idea of creating your own herbarium Cathy. You know come to think of it, I might have used paper towels from the kitchen. I’ll have to check if I can find any leftovers in my art books, still being pressed!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Kind of you Christina. Thank you. I was never particularly interested in pressing flowers but someone did a little workshop at a yoga retreat I attended. She had quite a variety of plant materials already dried that we were free to experiment with in making our cards. It turned out to be a satisfying activity, but obviously I didn’t stick with it. Life takes different turns. Susie


    These are expressive and delicate, arranged as if to recall specific moments. With lightness and humor, artistry and craft. There is a process once used to catalog plants called, ‘nature prints.’ Have you considered large collages, even as illustrations? — THGg

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for your very kind words. I am not sure if I’ll follow through on larger projects as you suggest, but this technique does provide a lot of possibilities. You might enjoy it as well–I found it to be a calming, creative process.


        Yes. I think we in the Healing Garden have found a good use. Beginning in April, we are composing a catalog of ‘100’ plants. From about 4 dozen healing gardens around the world. There are herbaria specimens already. This gardener thinks, where possible, these pressings give us more dimensional and intricate information. Illustrations. Maybe some practice. First. Thanks. — THGg

  3. bittster

    Those are something Susie, and I’m glad you pointed out your gravatar source, I don’t think I would have made the connection on my own, and now it’s just so much more interesting. I never noticed cleome was so intricate!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you. Seems funny to me now that I chose that card for the gravatar but there it is. Do you grow cleome? I adore them. They spread easily but are easy to pull out so it doesn’t become a nuisance. The plant has a very architectural form.

      1. bittster

        I have grown it, but it’s always hit or miss either taking over or never amounting to much. Lately I’ve been seeing the smaller proven winner varieties but just can’t convince myself to buy a plant that’s so easy from seed!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks. Wonder how long we’ll even be able to find any cards in the stores. I really enjoy hand-written notes, but they’re becoming rare at my house.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you Chloris. I think you may enjoy pressing flowers again. I found it interesting to work with flowers at that level of detail, rearranging them and combining parts from different plants.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Donna, just collect some plant material (flowers, stems, esp. flat items) and press between paper towels inside heavy books for 2-4 weeks. Use blank greeting cards to layout an arrangement (no rules really). Use white glue, such as Elmer’s, to attach and allow to dry for several hours. You can cover with a self-adhesive plastic but I prefer to leave them uncovered. Give it a try–it’s relaxing.


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