FlowersHorticultural therapy

Pounding flowers

A flood at Ann’s Place causes me to move all of my on-site horticultural therapy classes to my home for at least the rest of the summer. But luckily my patio is large enough to accommodate a dozen or so clients at a time so we should be able to make things work.

Pounding flowers is one of the favorite classes for clients and all come prepared with hammers in hand. The largest challenge for me is that it is late in the season for flowering pansies and violas so I need to baby them until my clients are ready to smack them down.

After setting up individual tables with flowers, frames, paper and board, I demonstrate the technique.“Most important is getting your flower as flat as possible with its face down on the watercolor paper,” I start. “Then put a paper towel on top, spread your fingers making sure the flower does not move, and then start to hit it.”

I make small taps in concentric circles around the flower until I am assured that I have hit all the parts of the flower. After waiting a bit for the flower’s dye to be absorbed, I remove the paper towel and gently with tweezers remove the pounded petals. A perfect image emerges.

My clients are wowed and start working on their own creations. Being outside, the smacking of a dozen or so hammers is muted by the open space and the chance chirping of a bird that can gets its cry in between poundings.

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