Saturday, October 22, 2011

Drying Hydrangea

This is my first attempt at drying hydrangea blossoms, so for some good advice I went straight to the All About Hydrangea site. I have visions of making a couple of wreaths for the holidays. They advise that you pick the blooms after they have begun to dry on the plant. While it's tempting to pick them at the height of their color, this will not yield the best results. I can attest to this as I picked some of mine a bit too early and they shriveled up to nothing. Keep an eye on them as we move into Fall. Once they begin to dry, and before they fade to brown, you can cut them and lay them out to air dry. This first bunch was picked in September.

To keep the flowers upright, punch holes in the top of some old gift boxes and insert the stems into the holes.

While the blossoms look lovely here, not all of them dried well. I found that the lace caps, those with the little pods in the center, look better if you cinch then together from underneath with floral wire. Here's what they look like on the plant. Note: This is a month later and the colors have changed dramatically.

Place your hand underneath, squeeze the flowers together, wrap floral wire around them and twist to close. This variety will look much better when it dries, and it reveals the green petals underneath which is a color I happen to adore.

It will take about a week for them to dry completely. I'm storing mine on a work table in the basement until wreath making time which takes place shortly after Thanksgiving.

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