Australian wildflowers / Flowers & plants / Other

Self preservation

I have to share with you something that I find quite remarkable.

If you’ve followed my work for some time, you’d know that I’m pretty taken with native everlastings (paper daisies). It’s hard not to be, with their gorgeous happy colours and intricate design. They are responsible for bringing thousands of tourists to our shores every spring.

These flowers naturally grow a little further north of Perth, up where the rain can become torrential. They grow in the hundreds of thousands, great, vast fields of little flowers. I long to see them in the outback one day.

A couple of years ago, I bought some seeds and raised my own pretty everlastings in my backyard. I saved some of the first heads, dried them and they sit in vases. I know they will eventually deteriorate, but they are very pretty.

© Kell Rowe 2011

© Kell Rowe 2012

Grown from seeds I got for my birthday

It was the fact that they deteriorate that brings me to this story. I bought some sealer/varnish recently as I’m experimenting with some air dry paper clay (Das Pronto if you are interested) and needed to keep the moisture out. Then in a flash of what I assumed was brilliance, I thought “Hey, I should varnish one of those flowers. Then it won’t fall apart.”

Have you ever wondered just HOW those gorgeous and delicate flowers survive heavy rain? They close up. Not just a little bit, they roll themselves up into a tight little ball, much like a slater/pill bug does to escape danger. I’ve seen it heaps of times when the sprinklers are on at the national park.

Strangely enough, the dried flowers I have in vases do it too.  It was a little creepy the first time I saw it! When it’s really cold, they start to close up to ‘protect’ the pollen inside.

So, you can see where this is going. I started to varnish the flower petals. It didn’t work. The varnish started to slide off! Those petals have a waterproof coating. Then, the whole damn flower started to tie itself up into a tight little bud.

© Kell Rowe 2013© Kell Rowe 2013© Kell Rowe 2013

This is on a “dead” plant!

So, now I have a varnished bud, not a pretty paper daisy. I’m also filled with some sort of Day of the Triffids dread now. Weeds creep me out. I keep expecting them to grab me. I’m sure something like that happened in Seaquest DSV and choked the entire ship……….

In other news, I have just been revising my Etsy policies and shipping information. My prices are changing from April 1st. Everything will cost a teensy bit more due to the increasing cost of materials and postage, but I am discounting postage for Australian customers. In most cases, domestic postage will be free. Those outside of Australia will save on the cost of some jewellery items and on loose prints.

For more information, please visit my shop:


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