My mum has been so supportive recently, I ring her every day (sometimes more!) and I can always rely on her to be at the end of a phone when I’m in need. We’re both keen gardeners and normally at this time of year, we’d be swapping plants, sharing seeds and even digging up unwanted specimens from each other’s gardens! But with the pandemic making it difficult to see each other, instead of doing our usual plant-swapping, I thought I’d send her a pressed ‘forever flower’ in a Hallmark card to show my appreciation.

You don’t need a flower press to press flowers! You can do it just as easily in a big book with some greaseproof paper. In fact, if you open most of the books in my flat, you can guarantee pressed flowers will fall out! I picked some flowers from my garden to press, but if you don’t have a garden, you can pick them from local woodland or hedgerows. Just make sure you check the rules around wild flower picking in your local area first! I picked some muscari that I grew from bulbs, some primroses I picked up in a garden centre and some green alkanet which is actually a common weed but I’m quite fond of the tiny blue flowers (as are the bees!). You don’t have to press just flowers, some leaves look beautiful pressed. Certain ferns are wonderfully architectural, and the leaves of a Japanese maple turn bright red in the autumn.

The best thing about flower pressing is that there are no rules! Play around with the flowers, leave the stems on, take the stems off, it’s entirely up to you. You can press them in clumps, or individually, the options are endless! You have to be quite brave when you come to closing your book, or popping the lid on your flower press - a bit like ripping off a plaster, you just have to do it quickly but carefully. Once you’ve closed your book or tightened up the screws on your flower press, you need to leave your flowers around 3-4 weeks to let them dry out properly. I’m always really tempted to peek!

Fortunately I pressed some similar flowers a few weeks ago. When it comes to placing your pressed flowers, again, you can be as creative as you want! I just kept it simple and used a glue stick to stick them straight into my Hallmark card, but you can use paints, watercolour, collage, whatever takes your fancy. I finished my card off by writing a message to my mum about how much I’ve appreciated her support recently, and there you have it! A pressed ‘forever flower’ Hallmark card to show my appreciation to my mum.

My mum and I used to press flowers together when I was younger so I thought it would be nice way to add something personal to a Hallmark card as a token of my appreciation. What are you doing for 30 Days of Caring to show your appreciation to someone you love?

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