Turn your blooms and foliage into permanent works of art by making sun prints!
Sun prints capture the imprinted shadow of foliage and blooms on a piece of paper that can be framed and displayed long after the garden has entered the compost bin.
To create your sun prints, you’ll need the following:
- Light-sensitive paper (we used Sunprint paper)
- Acrylic or glass sized to fit paper
- A full basin of water
- Paper or cloth towel
- Foliage and blooms (We used zinnia blooms and cosmo foliage.)
- In a low-light area away from the sun, arrange foliage and blooms on the light-sensitive paper.
2. Place the acrylic or glass on top of the blooms and foliage to flatten them and hold them in place to be printed. Apply enough pressure to flatten but not damage the foliage and blooms.
3. Take the paper, plants, and acrylic/glass outside and place in direct sunlight for 2 to 5 minutes. If it’s cloudy, the process can take between 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the clouds.
4. Rinse just the paper in the basin of water. You will see the silhouette show up in 1 to 5 minutes.
5. Lay sun print flat on a paper or cloth towel to dry.
Frame your sunprint and display! We’d love to see how creative you get! Hashtag your creations with #botanicalinterests.
Extend the life of your fading blooms by turning them into potpourri. Potpourri is easy to make and can be customized to include your favorite aromas. The fragrance can last for weeks, and can be refreshed with a spritz of essential oils, or the potpourri can be boiled to release its full aroma for a special occasion.
When choosing your blooms and foliage, select ingredients that have interesting or complementary foliage, colors, and scents. We’ve chosen sweet annie, zinnias, carnations,marigolds, cloves, oranges, and lemons.
What you’ll need:
- Sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- Spray bottle
- Small bottle essential oil, (We used lavender).
- Flowers, citrus fruit, cloves
You can use fresh or faded blooms to create your potpourri. For fresh blooms:
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
- Cover a sheet tray with parchment paper.
- Trim flowers to flower head, or foliage into small pieces and place in single layer on parchment paper.
- Slice citrus fruit in thin layers and place in single layer on sheet.
- Add 1 teaspoon of essential oil with 1 tablespoon of water in spray bottle.
- Spritz potpourri ingredients and coat thoroughly. Do not leave standing water in tray.
- Dry on center oven rack for at least 2 hours, leaving oven cracked open to allow moisture to escape. Flowers should be brittle but not burnt.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Spritz lightly with essential oil/water mixture and allow to dry.
- Gently mix potpourri and set out in bowl or place in a closed container for later use.
- Spritz with oil/water mixture to refresh.
If you choose to use faded blooms, allow them to fade thoroughly, and then remove from plant and place in a single layer on a sheet pan with parchment paper and skip to step 9.