Ironing dried flowers

Some leaves can be pressed with a warm iron. The process does not give quite the long-lasting results achieved by the more conventional method, but then it takes only a few minutes instead of several weeks. Place the leaves between two sheets of blotting paper or newspaper and press with a warm iron until the plant material has dried out-about five minutes. Grasses, pampas, montbretia and gladioli leaves respond to this treatment; which is just as well, because the elongated spiky leaves are obstinately longer than most flower presses and books used for the purpose. The leaves of fatsia japonica, smoke tree or sumach (Rhus), horse chestnut (Aescu/us) and beech can be ironed in this way, too.

Skeletonising

You can often find skeletonised leaves in the garden, perhaps underneath a holly tree; the perfect, finely veined structure on which the plant tissue was built. Skeletonised magnolia leaves, some-times bleached and sometimes dyed, can be bought in florists

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