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Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



What?
This is a thread about making things what you can't eat with bits scavenged from dearly departed plants.

Like this wreath my mommy made me:


Or this slightly crooked monstrosity that looms over my desk:


Or this poo poo from my garden I stuck in a vase so that it could inconveniently interfere with accessing the alarm panel in the hallway:


Or this unsafe terrarium for a frog I don't own:


Or this goofy little bonsai for the impatient and black-thumbed:


The world's oyster is yours and I'm not your dad! I didn't have any photos of pressed flowers but they also exist and are cool—I'll add one if someone posts one. This thread is for all of those things and whatever else it is people craft out of dead plants: you tell me (woodworking doesn't count, sorry). If anyone wants to talk about arranging flowers before they're completely dead that would be cool, too.


Where do I get plant corpses for decorating my house?
From dismembering plants that are still alive, mostly. Your garden or your neighbor's (ask permission/don't get caught) or the mall parking lot (don't ask permission/gently caress them) or the side of the highway are all great places to find plants! Keep an eye out for cool poo poo in your travels. There's all kinds of amazing seed pods out there that can be used for more than just photoshopping nipples.



Once you have something to dry, there's a lot of ways to do it. Some methods work better with some plants than others and some plants/plant parts take to drying better than others. You can find information about using desiccants and freeze driers and microwaves and all kinds of other poo poo but the easiest method is to take whatever you want to dry, tie it up into bundles with rubber bands, and then hang those bundles in a dry place for a while. I use a spare closet. Pressing flowers is also, as far as I know (which is not very far) pretty straightforward.



You can also buy them all over the place.


My dried plants are all turning brown :butt: I don't like brown
Plants/flowers will retain different amounts of color depending on how (and where) they are dried and when during their growth cycle they are harvested. Usually the ideal time to harvest flowering plants for drying is before they're in peak flower, as the flowers will continue to open somewhat after you cut them. Do some experimenting: different plants respond differently to drying. Ornamental grasses are an easy place to start and get attractive results quickly.

Dried plants can also be dyed and, often, they are. If you've ever been to the floral section in a Michaels you've almost certainly seen red/blue/pink/purple Eucalyptis, which is not a color it is. It's often easier to dye plants before drying them by either soaking them in or having them drink water with dye in it—food coloring works fine for this purpose.



Once you have something non-brown you may want to look into some UV protection to keep it from fading too fast. Krylon makes a decent one but many other options are available; ask your local retailer.


Why are they so crunchy?
It's because you've killed them.

Lucky for you, modern (1980s) technology has brought us the magic of preserved plants. Preserved plants are produced by treating plant matter with a humectant (usually glycerine) and, since they're going to turn brown in the process of being killed, often some kind of dye. When this is done well, the plant will maintain its shape and pliability more or less indefinitely. If it's done poorly, they just take slightly longer to dry out than normal.



You can do this at home, though it can be tricky. Non-vascular plants (stuff with no roots like moss) can be soaked in a solution of 1 part glycerine to 2 parts water while vascular plants usually require you to get the plant to drink the solution (unless you don't care about turning them into mush, anyway). There's an overview of the technique here as well as some more technical but useful information about it here.

You can also, of course, buy preserved plants. Preserved moss is widely available basically everywhere (including Amazon); I have found this website to be a good source of decently preserved ferns.



There are also now a number of companies preserving flowers, which is a significantly more complex undertaking. So far this seems to be more of a thing outside of the US. I haven't gotten to mess with a lot of this stuff, but this Etsy shop imports a bunch of stuff from Japan and I've had good experiences ordering from them in the past.


Tools & Things
Now you just have to get your plant stuffs to behave themselves and do what you want. There are some obvious options you might find useful to have around.

Floral Tape

Floral tape is basically just a self-sticking (when stretched) generally green tape people use for holding plant poo poo together. There's not a ton to know here, but it can be helpful to have a roll on hand.


Floral Foam

It's foam, for florals flowers! If you want your flower arrangement not to get all hosed up if anyone touches it or you just want to poke plant bits into something and have them stay there, floral foam is for you. It comes in bricks and pucks and mounds and rings and balls and most (but not all) of it is designed to accept getting wet. Try to get the no dust variety which produces slightly less dust than the all dust variety. It's crazy expensive from places like Michaels and much less expensive from places that supply florists so maybe look around.


Glue

Note: Do not buy the cheap Michaels hot glue gun pictured above. I have one, and it's a piece of poo poo.
Glue sticks plant stuff good. For most tasks PVA glue will get the job done, is easy to work with, and has a reasonable open time. I use Aleene's mostly but whatever you have around will do fine.

For tasks where you need to get things stuck more solidly or hold them in place more completely/quickly, it's hard to escape hot glue. For sticking moss tight to a surface there's not really anything better, but it makes little strings of itself everywhere and it likes to burn your fingers. Both hot glue guns and the glue sticks themselves come in low and high temperature varieties; for plant stuff you probably want low. Matching the intended temperature of your glue sticks with your glue gun makes it slightly less of a pain in the rear end, but only slightly.


Floral Wire

Comes in a million gauges, is good for poo poo like wrapping wreaths and tying plants together and all kinds of other things.

Pro tip: Thin gauge floral wire can be used to reinforce stems that would otherwise be too flimsy to stick into things without snapping/bending by tightly coiling wire around them. Just hold the wire with a finger against and parallel to the stem and start wrapping. There's probably youtube videos somewhere but the technique is pretty straightforward and if you try it a couple times you'll figure it out.


Now what?
Make some cool poo poo and post it in the thread or post cool poo poo you already made or tell us about the zen of flower arrangement or ask questions about the best methods for raiding your neighbor's garden or I'll just chill and talk to myself about making stuff with moss and things. At some point I'll make some effort posts about what I done learned working with preserved plants, but whatever floats your boat is cool with me.


Effort posts
Hexagonsagon p. 1
Hexagonsagon p. 2

Wallet fucked around with this message at 13:15 on Oct 29, 2021

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Organza Quiz
Nov 7, 2009




Oh hello! I saw your post in the things you're proud of thread and spent WAY too much time looking for how to get preserved moss in Australia, I love that aesthetic and one day when I have the time I'd love to get into doing some cool poo poo with it. I didn't realise it could be done for ferns too!

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Organza Quiz posted:

Oh hello! I saw your post in the things you're proud of thread and spent WAY too much time looking for how to get preserved moss in Australia, I love that aesthetic and one day when I have the time I'd love to get into doing some cool poo poo with it. I didn't realise it could be done for ferns too!

It can be theoretically done with any kind of plant, though YMMV. I haven't deeply delved into preserving things myself but I have messed with it a bit. Super Moss is the largest purveyor in the US of preserved moss specifically and their products do seem to be available on Australian Amazon. It's all double the price but I don't know if that's just the regular Australia tax or not.

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns




Cool thread! I like to arrange flowers from my yard sometimes and I wish I were better at it!

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Kaiser Schnitzel posted:

Cool thread! I like to arrange flowers from my yard sometimes and I wish I were better at it!
Beyond boring poo poo like composition and blah blah blah if you're getting a few flowers here and there from the garden to put in a vase using a flower frog can go a long way to help an arrangement look nice and full instead of sad and clumped up. If you're not familiar it's basically a little discoid thing that goes at the bottom/top of a vase (or occasionally they're made to be free standing or as part of a vase) and helps hold an arrangement in place. They make them with little spikes all over them that you just sort of jam the ends of stems onto, but I generally prefer the glass/ceramic/metal ones that just have holes in them.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Best thread title and OP! Subscribed, hoping to find something my kitten won't eat! not gonna happen

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Hexagonsagon p. 1

In the coldest depths of our Covid winter I wanted something pretend living to hang out above my desk and I didn't want to pay $$$ for it so I started loving around with preserved plants.


Planning

Working with natural materials makes it hard to plan precisely for what you'll end up with, so I sorted out what I could. I made a quick mockup of the space in Tinkercad and messed around with poo poo until I ended up with an arrangement of hexagons I liked.



I wanted some of the pieces of driftwood I was going to use to cross over the boundaries between the hexagons and some of it to cross through (or look like it did, anyway) so I planned that out as well in Photoshop.



The ghostly gray bits are for pretend trees. The plan did not entirely survive, but parts of it did.

Preparing the Hexagons
I was originally going to build the hexagons but I found them inexpensively on Amazon and decided not to try and execute hundreds of miters. I won't belabor the finishing (I just used stain and then rubbed some Watco into them) since this ain't the woodworking thread.

I attached a Z-clip for hanging onto the back of each using a little jig I made to make sure they were centered so that hanging 14 hexagons in formation would be less of a nightmare.


After that I laid everything out on the floor and got to cutting the wood with a little handsaw.


Then I was ready for the interesting part (the plants).


The Plants
You can get 30" long sword ferns but for this project I wanted to stick to a much smaller scale. That still left a lot of options, and I went a little nuts grabbing some of this and that.

Because I think it might be helpful if anyone is going to try a preserved plant project of their own and has no idea where to start with materials I'll get to the nitty gritty in a second, but the TL;DR is:
  • 4 different "kinds" of moss
  • 4 kinds of ferns
  • 6 kinds of non ferns
  • 5 kinds of flowers

Some of these, particularly the flowers, were added after the initial build.

Moss & "Moss"
At least in the US Super Moss seems to be the biggest player (you can get their stuff on Amazon or in many craft stores) but they have plenty of competition if you dig around.


Sheet moss is by far the easiest to work with. If you're just going to use one kind of moss, use this. It comes in sheets (surprise) that are a reasonable size, and because it's thin it's quite easy to contour to surfaces.


Mood moss has a lovely shaggy texture that stands out from everything else. It is, however, not so easy to work with as the pads are generally thick (>1") and inconsistently so. If you want to cover a relatively flat surface with it you need to be able to account for having extra space to inset the chunks of moss, and if you want to cover a complex surface you should probably use something else.


Forest moss is just a bunch of different kinds of moss and non-moss plants someone gathered, I assume, in a forest. My bag was nowhere near as consistent as the one photographed. It can get you a lot of different textures in a single bag but it comes in inconsistently sized (and often inconsistently dyed) chunks and you'll spend a lot of time sorting it out.


Mountain moss is forest moss but from the vicinity of a mountain, I suppose, and dyed a different color.


Reindeer moss is actually a lichen. You can get it in a bunch of colors if you want to get funky and it's pretty dang cheap. It's very puffy, for lack of a better word, and it wants to stay that way. I ended up just using it as an accent around some of the bark. If you use this as your primary moss you will end up with a pretty lumpy surface, which is cool but only if that's what you're after.


Ferns
For whatever reason ferns seem to make up a large portion of the available preserved greenery.


Plumosa looks like what you think of when you think fern, but smaller. It also seems to preserve fairly well. I used it pretty extensively, in part because it's among the least expensive to spread over a decent area and in part because I just like it.


Leatherleaf ferns have a great texture and if you get lucky and the person dying them has some restraint they can have some really nice hue variation with reds and oranges creeping in. Because of their relatively thick foliage they seem to take to preserving quite well.


Lutti adiantum are expensive and delicate and gorgeous out of the bag. Unfortunately the tiny little leaves just don't seem to absorb enough humectant for them to hold together long term. They don't turn into dust and blow away, but the leaves do shrink up and curl over time.


Maidenhair fern has the same issues that the Lutti do despite having slightly larger leaves.

Not ferns


Ming fern is not. The foliage kind of looks like miniature pine needles. I ended up removing almost all of it shortly after I finished because the stuff I got was dyed just a bit too intensely but don't hold that against it. It's a decent inexpensive option for getting some foliage without spending a buttload.


Tree fern is probably also not a fern but I'm not sure exactly what it actually is. It has a nice sort of grassy structure/texture and is pretty cheap to get a hold of.


Princess pine is actually a clubmoss but it's pretty and commonly used in holiday wreaths. Careful who you get it from as some of it is dyed so aggressively (or with so much blue) that it looks like plastic.


Amaranthus is maybe the only widely available trailing preserved plant. It's nice for danglin'.


Ruscus I actually got for a different project but I ended up poking in a few little bits of it here and there. It has a look that's difficult to find in preserved plant land and the leaves are sturdy enough that you can detach and use them individually if you need/want to.


Strobe I also got for something else but I really liked the texture of it so some ended up getting poked into the hexagons.


Flowers
I got everything but the button flowers from this guy on Etsy, and all of them (except again the buttons) went into the hexagons a few months after I initially made it.


Mini button flowers are super common at floral places, though they're actually dried and dyed not preserved.


Italian Parsley I only used a very small amount of. Not much to say about it, but it has a unique look/texture to the flower heads.


Baby's breath is probably one of the most common filler flowers in arrangements. It has a repeatedly branching structure that's nice for dense clusters of flecked color.


Broom flowers are also available in non-white, I think, but white is what I got. More upright than branching.


Linum mini flax comes in a number of colors. It's basically just perfect tiny little flowers for whatever you need tiny little flowers for. I needed them because I wanted a color other than white.


Next time I'll try to get to actually putting plants in/on things.

dihaploidy
Oct 31, 2010




This stuff rules Wallet, looking forward to seeing more dead plants going onto things

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Hexagonagon p. 2

Sorting forever
Before putting plants on things there was sorting. Lots and lots of sorting. The moss I sorted and spread out over most of the surface area of my living room. The forest/mountain moss are actually six or seven or eight different kinds of moss, and even the bags that are just one kind of moss are often dyed inconsistently.

The plants, too, needed sorted. Among the same kind of fern some would have lots of tightly clustered branching and other pieces would be much sparser, some had grown curved and others straight. I tried to pay attention to the variance in all of the materials.

There was also an absolute ton of breaking stuff down. Even though the pieces of e.g. tree ferns I actually used were all 1-4" or whatever, they come the way they grow.

I kept everything. The chaff at the bottom of the moss bags came in handy for filling little gaps, the ugly hosed up fern fronds ended up being useful once they were broken down into smaller bits, the things that had been dyed weird and were a different color ended up being useful to add texture and variance. I probably ended up with 40 plastic bags with different sizes/colors/types/shapes/whatevers of ferns etc.


Foam
Before anything green went in each hexagon I built them up with floral foam (stuck down with hot glue) to create a structure for the moss to sit on and to give me something to stick other elements into through it. A serrated kitchen knife works as well as anything else I tried for cutting the foam, and I found the best way to carve/shape (and also probably the messiest) was with sandpaper.

Each of the backs was made up of a bunch of chunks of floral foam shaped to give some depth variation and, for the hexagons where I was planning to include chunks of bark, to give to the impression that the bark was just one exposed part of a full trunk. This may not show up in pictures, but it's convincing in person.



I should have taken more photos but this is the only one I have of what the foam looked like before it was covered in moss.


Mawse
Finally, it's time to actually add some green. Placing the moss is really just a matter of laying down some hot glue and pressing little chunks of moss into it. I usually laid out the chunks dry before I did any gluing. The moss is easy to reshape by just ripping it with your fingers. Sometimes it's useful/necessary to use a pair of scissors to trim the moss from the bottom to thin it out so it can conform better to the form under it. You don't have to get an entire chunk in one go, you can just lay down a bead of glue, press down one edge of the moss, and work your way out. A small craft glue gun is a lot easier to control for this purpose than one of the big ones.


A philosophical interlude
But what goes where? What moss, what plants? I broke it down into (entirely made up) biomes, and told little stories about the entirely dead plants. The bottom right I decided would be sort of boggy, so I went with the slightly browner mountain moss and some of the wild tendrilly forest moss. Because they felt sort of mushroomy to me that area became the center of the lime green button flowers and they got feathered out from there, with one or two poked in elsewhere more or less at random since plants do that sort of thing.

Right above that I transitioned into sheet moss and dense ferns, and then at the very top I tried to bring in a bit more verticality and topped it off with a bit of mood moss.



That transitioned as we went left into more of a forest atmosphere with the bark and pretend tree trunks, some dried mushrooms, the princess pine and the leatherleaf ferns on top of the shaggier and deeper green forest moss.




You may notice these are in the wrong formation on the floor. I think I was tired.


How put plant in hole?
Some plant stuff works better in clusters and some when it's spread. When I later added flowers I found most of them felt better if they were in little chumps where spreading them evenly felt overwhelming.

Different plants lay best differently, so mess with the angles. The button flowers, for example, are basically just poked in to "grow" straight out, but ferns and things tend to look better if they are laid at a low angle. Other flowers, I have found, feel weird and unnatural if they aren't angled upward.

Because everything is getting poked through a layer of moss and hot glue to get to the soft floral foam heart beating below anything that doesn't have a pretty solid stem on the end of it is going to bend before it gets in there.

I used two methods to reinforce stems that would otherwise be too wimpy. Stems that had some structure but just weren't stiff enough got individually wrapped in thin-gauge floral wire. You basically just hold the wire lateral to the stem with one hand, and then start wrapping it around in a coil with the other. At the end you cut it off at an angle so it will penetrate better.




For the wimpiest of stems I clipped the ends off of floral pins, wired them to the base of the stem, and then put a drop of hot glue on there (without the hot glue the pin can easily end up penetrating the foam while the stem just slips out of the wire).



Hanging & Second Death
I sprayed everything down with a few coats of a UV protectant sealant to help keep the plants from fading, and then everything got to go on the wall (individually hanging them all in formation was fun).

This is what it all looked like after it was initially hung.






I know a few people were interested in how it would hold up. Pretty well so far, with the exception of the maidenhair and the lutti adiantum. I added some additional elements and made some modifications a few months after, so here's what it looks like over a year later:



Plant MONSTER.
Mar 16, 2018

Pure Posting Sugar





Oh. A thread for me.

Although wow holy poo poo your stuff is amazing and I'm dying.

I work at a flower shop, although not really as a designer even though I *feel* I'm capable enough, lol. I'll make poo poo once in awhile as my own form of mild rebellion (and yeah, making wreaths lands me in hot water.)

I whipped up some roses out of Lunaria capsules while watching movies with the BYOB crew.



original characters, do not steal.



Here's a closeup of one displayed with various dried flowers. I've been drying gerberas lately by removing the heads and letting them sit on a dry paper towel, I flip them every few days. It's like slow burgers.



stuff destined for the trash at work + two gourds I had = a lovely fall centerpiece once placed in a beer mug. Perfect for two dudes on Canadian Thanksgiving.







Wreaths I've made throughout October. The purple one is unfinished.




stuff I dried myself made into things. gently caress my apartment's floor is just covered in little dried plant bits, twigs and petals. I also make flowers with crepe paper as well.

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Plant MONSTER. posted:

I whipped up some roses out of Lunaria capsules while watching movies with the BYOB crew.



These are sweet! I like plants made out of plants. How are you holding the petals together and arranged properly without it being a hellish nightmare?

The wreaths, too. My mother worked at a florist doing arrangements and stuff for a number of years but now that she doesn't it has become a lot harder to come by miscellaneous flowers and thangs.

Over the weekend I glued some left over moss and flowers to this big weird piece of driftwood I've had hanging around for a while and stuck it on the wall to keep me busy since my garden is slowly being frozen to death. I think it turned out okay-ish, haven't messed with applying moss directly to driftwood like that before.





Edit: There's a blown glass lamp below it that's giving off blue light and making my camera do weird poo poo with color, apparently, because the wall is neutral gray and it don't look that way.

Wallet fucked around with this message at 21:46 on Oct 31, 2021

Plant MONSTER.
Mar 16, 2018

Pure Posting Sugar





Wallet posted:

These are sweet! I like plants made out of plants. How are you holding the petals together and arranged properly without it being a hellish nightmare?

Hot glue! You just start from the center and sort of stagger the petals in a spiralish pattern as you place them. I'm awful at explaining things. It's basically the same process I use for making a paper rose from crepe, although I use tacky glue for those.

Yeah I definitely have access to more resources because of where I work. We used to just toss at old floral materials away until I started drying them and bringing them into the shop for us to use in dried arrangements and wreaths. Right now dried flowers are seeing a huge surge in popularity, which I guess is due to instagram, pinterest and the like... but our shop charges an arm and a leg for stuff like that dyed and preserved eucalyptus and so many people try to purchase it to place in their showers and it's like. No.

But I am amazed at the amount of things I'm able to successfully dry. I have about 50 stems of Mastumoto aster that have kept their color and shape nicely as well as about 15 stems of sunflowers and although they are shriveled I find them beautiful.

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Plant MONSTER. posted:

Hot glue! You just start from the center and sort of stagger the petals in a spiralish pattern as you place them. I'm awful at explaining things. It's basically the same process I use for making a paper rose from crepe, although I use tacky glue for those.

Sounds like one of those things that's beyond my patience—I'd burn myself seven times and then misplace the tenth petal before binning it. One of my grandmothers used to make beaded flowers which is a level of tedium I can hardly comprehend.



Plant MONSTER. posted:

But I am amazed at the amount of things I'm able to successfully dry. I have about 50 stems of Mastumoto aster that have kept their color and shape nicely as well as about 15 stems of sunflowers and although they are shriveled I find them beautiful.

Are you just hanging them?

Also really, in the shower? Wut?

Wallet fucked around with this message at 14:15 on Nov 1, 2021

Plant MONSTER.
Mar 16, 2018

Pure Posting Sugar





Yeah, I'm just hanging them, with the exception of things like gerbera, where I want a flatter flowerhead, so I remove the heads and lay them flat.


Wallet posted:

I can't imagine why anyone would try to put preserved plants in their shower.

Well right now hanging eucalyptus in the shower is suddenly the biggest trend, so every week we're selling out of eucalyptus almost immediately. People then spot the dried and preserved stuff and think it's the same thing so now, every time someone goes to purchase a bundle of dried eucalyptus, I have to ask them what they plan on doing with it because 7 times out of 10 it's "i'm gonna hang it up in my shower! :)"

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Plant MONSTER. posted:

Yeah, I'm just hanging them, with the exception of things like gerbera, where I want a flatter flowerhead, so I remove the heads and lay them flat.

Well right now hanging eucalyptus in the shower is suddenly the biggest trend, so every week we're selling out of eucalyptus almost immediately. People then spot the dried and preserved stuff and think it's the same thing so now, every time someone goes to purchase a bundle of dried eucalyptus, I have to ask them what they plan on doing with it because 7 times out of 10 it's "i'm gonna hang it up in my shower! :)"

I don't think I understand internet trends, but I would tempted to just let people figure out their own poo poo after their first shower causes fingers of dye to drip all over their bathroom.


I got a gallon of vegetable glycerine so I could try messing with preserving stuff myself more since that stuff gets real expensive if you're buying it and everything in the yard is going to die anyway so I may as well take some cuttings. It seems to almost exclusively be effective on things that aren't prone to wilting but I've seen preserved stuff that is so there must be some technique or detail I'm missing.

Plant MONSTER.
Mar 16, 2018

Pure Posting Sugar





Wallet posted:

I don't think I understand internet trends, but I would tempted to just let people figure out their own poo poo after their first shower causes fingers of dye to drip all over their bathroom.


I got a gallon of vegetable glycerine so I could try messing with preserving stuff myself more since that stuff gets real expensive if you're buying it and everything in the yard is going to die anyway so I may as well take some cuttings. It seems to almost exclusively be effective on things that aren't prone to wilting but I've seen preserved stuff that is so there must be some technique or detail I'm missing.

I have no experience preserving things with glycerin myself, so let us know how that goes!

Yeah, internet trends have been slightly grating on my nerves. Decorating cakes with flowers is also making a huge comeback from the Victorian days and I wish people would stop. We seriously have people wanting to place things like Agapanthus and Stargazer lilies on their cakes. Or again, dyed and preserved materials. Someone's going to seriously poison themselves or some kid from either the literal heart-stopping glycosides in the flowers or from some of the pesticides. Florals have the highest amount of concentrated pesticide residues on them because they're not at all meant to go near the mouth.

Okay, rant over. More pretties.



Limonium will always dry well and keep its color. Here I have some in pink, pale pink, lavender and white. The lady who purchased them used them to fill out spaces in a giftbasket, which is a much lovelier idea than eating them, yes?



These are those preserved flowers mentioned in the opening post. These ones come from a company in Montreal. The roses look lovely displayed in a hanging glass tear drop like these with little accoutrements. The top one has bunny grass, a type of seed cone, some wheat and some linseed pods.

The pink ones have pink peppercorns and lavender!

My mom has me make these and she sends them to the family and her friends.

Fresh Cut Flowers

You said we could talk about still-alive-but-in-the-process-of-dying flower arranging, so I'm gonna spam up the thread with more pictures. I've always preferred a slightly tighter look to a bouquet as opposed to the loose, flowy look that's very popular right now.












Crepe Paper Flowers

Now I'm getting even further away from the subject matter it seems but yeah, making crepe papers is a fun and rewarding past-time. I go through periods where I make lots and then stop for months, only to resume later etc.







Roses are my main thing, of course.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Holy hell, you are good at crepe paper flowers. I admit, I was thinking of the big fluffy pompom ones we made in the '70s from an entire sheaf of crepe paper.

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns




PM your crepe flowers are so incredible-I would love to see more of how you make them.

I have used flowers as dessert decorations to good effect, but just like fresh flowers from my own yard. I put some roses on come cakes one time that were really pretty but I can't find a pic, so here's a camellia (professor Sargent, I think) decorating our Christmas Charlotte Russe:


I like to go out in the woods and hack off huge branches of wisteria etc. and stick them in a giant vase. I'm not sure if it's good, but I like it:


E:
In fact, stick too much big stuff in a big ole vase seems to be about as fancy as my arranging gets. Big branch of native azalea or a flower fruit tree and watching the new flowers open is my fav.


Kaiser Schnitzel fucked around with this message at 17:23 on Nov 1, 2021

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Plant MONSTER. posted:

I have no experience preserving things with glycerin myself, so let us know how that goes!
I'll be sure to post when I have anything meaningful. I think it might be that I need to go lighter on the glycerine for things that are wilt-prone—some places say 1:1 glycerine to water and some 1:2 and I wonder if the greater dilution is necessary to prevent less robust foliage from wilting before it starts to stabilize.

They could also maybe be doing it via submersion I guess. Will have to gently caress around I, though I'm going to run out of easily available foliage in the next few weeks I imagine.

They all look good but these ones really do it for me. Maybe I just like green. I have less than no idea what trends in flower arrangements/bouquets are (or ever were, really).


Plant MONSTER. posted:

Now I'm getting even further away from the subject matter it seems but yeah, making crepe papers is a fun and rewarding past-time. I go through periods where I make lots and then stop for months, only to resume later etc.
I don't have much familiarity with paper flowers but these are really gorgeous. Making flowers out of non-flower materials seems close enough to on topic to me—I don't think we're going to get in trouble with the thread police or nothing :shrug:


Kaiser Schnitzel posted:

I like to go out in the woods and hack off huge branches of wisteria etc. and stick them in a giant vase. I'm not sure if it's good, but I like it

Pretty sure that's all that counts but I'm not a professional. The only things that grow in the woods next to me (which are not very large) are ferns and garlic mustard and poison ivy and tons of loving bittersweet (though I did find a couple of Trilliums this spring) so I say go for it. There are some tall "single stem" vases that kind of thing goes really nice with.

Wallet fucked around with this message at 20:14 on Nov 1, 2021

Plant MONSTER.
Mar 16, 2018

Pure Posting Sugar





Wallet posted:

Pretty sure that's all that counts but I'm not a professional.

That's all that matters and folks in the floral business need to stop mysticizing* everything! If you/the customer likes it, that's what matters. I've seen things made by professionals that I've considered to be plug-ugly. It's all a matter of taste!

*My boss won't let me do arrangements in a vase or with oasis for whatever weirdo reasons she has. Even though I find that type of work comes naturally to me and I find it calming. Oh well, small business owners are insane.



this is an example of an Oasis foam arrangement I did during my first weeks there, with no training, using nothing but scrap bits. It's not really "me" per se but I know someone out there would like it.

Anyway.



Gerberas finished drying so I mounted them to some sticks yesterday.

Wallet posted:

The only things that grow in the woods next to me (which are not very large) are ferns and garlic mustard and poison ivy and tons of loving bittersweet (though I did find a couple of Trilliums this spring) so I say go for it. There are some tall "single stem" vases that kind of thing goes really nice with.

Oh, are you Canadian as well?

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





(wistful) I used to go out every spring and cut pussy willows for my mom; we had two trees, one pink and one white. Pussy willows sometimes dry in the vase and stay for a long time. In the fall, it was bittersweet from the woods. Or was, until my mom got a brutal case of poison ivy; after that, we bought it.

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Plant MONSTER. posted:

Oh, are you Canadian as well?

I'm in the Northeast US (MA), but I guess that's sort of close to Canada relatively speaking.

Plant MONSTER.
Mar 16, 2018

Pure Posting Sugar





I found the floral spray paints stashed away at work.



I don't normally like dyed things that much but I can't stop staring at this Limonium I sprayed.

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



When I started up this round of trying to preserve stuff I basically just wandered around the yard clipping random poo poo to see how things went; I knew some stuff would wilt almost immediately but whatever. I stuck a few milkweed pods in for shits and giggles (A. tuberosa) and for some reason it has made them burst but without really ejecting the seeds the way they normally do, so they're all just sort of hanging out in there.




Also found this vase in a box that matches another one I already had so i stuck some iris seed pods and this one weird piece of Eryngium yuccifolium that decided to grow all wavy instead of straight like they usually do in there.



Plant MONSTER. posted:

I found the floral spray paints stashed away at work.

Like the stuff that's mostly transparent so you can tint stuff with it or the kind that's basically regular spray paint but twice as much money? The modern tinted stuff supposedly works well but I've never really tried it.

Plant MONSTER.
Mar 16, 2018

Pure Posting Sugar





Wallet posted:

When I started up this round of trying to preserve stuff I basically just wandered around the yard clipping random poo poo to see how things went; I knew some stuff would wilt almost immediately but whatever. I stuck a few milkweed pods in for shits and giggles (A. tuberosa) and for some reason it has made them burst but without really ejecting the seeds the way they normally do, so they're all just sort of hanging out in there.



I find the seed pods of the wild milkweed to be very aesthetically pleasing. There’s always so many seeds arranged in tight perfect whorls and their pappus are slightly pearlescent and silky. Wonder if anyone’s tried making thread with them.

Not gonna lie, I like the eryngium with the curving pedicels like that. If only there was a way to guarantee it growing like that, they’d be popular in arrangements.

And yeah. My boss inherited a bunch of junk when she purchased the store from the previous owners. So much FTD and Teleflora stuff that we don’t deal with. She let me keep the sprays.

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Plant MONSTER. posted:

Not gonna lie, I like the eryngium with the curving pedicels like that. If only there was a way to guarantee it growing like that, they’d be popular in arrangements.

It's just one stem on one plant that did that and I have no idea why. Wasn't getting less sun or anything that I can tell. I have two of them and they've gotten quite big so maybe more will pop up next year—I like that structure a lot more than the normal angular one.

I'm fond of milkweed pods as well. When I was a kid we harvested a bunch of them and kept them in a big cardboard box for drying and then blew the fuckload of them that had collected in there out a third story window and they popped up all over the neighborhood. The one guy with the perfect lawn was not impressed but couldn't figure out where they came from.

This year I only had A. tuberosa big enough to put out seed pods, but I put in some fascicularis, speciosa, and syriaca that will hopefully get there next year.

Wallet fucked around with this message at 15:37 on Nov 5, 2021

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns




Anyone know anything about drying gourds? I'm gonna have, uh, lot of them. They look like this guy:

I can't find the seed packet, but based on leaves, growth, and the upright, white/purple flowers I am pretty sure they are Lagenaria. Some things I've read say leave them on the vine, some say cut them before a frost? We're probably at least a month away from getting any sort of frost, and probably 6 weeks from a hard freeze. I've got big ones, small ones, in-between ones, should I do anything different with the immature ones vs mature?

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Kaiser Schnitzel posted:

I can't find the seed packet, but based on leaves, growth, and the upright, white/purple flowers I am pretty sure they are Lagenaria. Some things I've read say leave them on the vine, some say cut them before a frost? We're probably at least a month away from getting any sort of frost, and probably 6 weeks from a hard freeze. I've got big ones, small ones, in-between ones, should I do anything different with the immature ones vs mature?

I am 0% a gourd expert, but I believe people who grow a lot of gourds (like, full fields) leave them on the vine because it's easier to just let them sit there until they're dried out. Given you aren't going to have quite that many it should be fine to cut them and then leave them to dry in a shed or whatever.

I don't know if immature ones will dry properly or not, but if they get mushy you should toss them (same with the mature ones). I would assume letting them freeze will make them more likely to rot.

Plant MONSTER.
Mar 16, 2018

Pure Posting Sugar





Perhaps the gourds will lignify better if left on the vine?

Imagine an okra pod maturing, they tend to get very woody with age. Perhaps gourds sclerotize in a similar way?

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Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Partial update on preserving plants with glycerine.

I put a bunch of assorted clippings in around three weeks ago, and most of it is in still in there. After testing a bunch, it seems like no matter what dilution I try some plants will almost immediately wilt if I try to get them to drink a glycerine solution (ferns in particular). Soaking in 50/50 glycerine/water seems to work better for those plants.

For sturdier stuff I'm just having them drink 50/50 glycerine/water with food coloring in it. The food coloring seems to have worked for some plants and not others. It's possible I need to be more aggressive with the coloring, but it seems like it has more to do with the amount of it that they manage to absorb before dying. Here's a little arrangement with a bunch of preserved stuff from various shrubs in my garden:



You can see up close that some leaves (from a Hamamelis) seem to have sucked up the dye, but the rest really haven't although they still feel like they did when they were alive. I think you could probably get some interesting results by emphasizing it with red/yellow/etc dye.



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