Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Flower for Two Seasons

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Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers. They come in a variety of colors. The Nikko Blue is my favorite and stands up well to our sometimes very cold winters.

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This hydrangea is in the lacecap family. They are more delicate and less showy than their mophead cousins, but just as beautiful.

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It’s not unusual to find different color blooms on the same plant. This plant in my back yard has white tinged with lavender, lavender and green blooms on it. And although hydrangeas are synonymous with summer, they have me thinking about the fall…..when they make beautiful dried arrangements.

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There are several methods for drying hydrangeas. Perhaps the simplest is to let Mother Nature take its course. Wait until late in the blooming season (August to October depending on where you live) and allow the blooms simply to dry on the plant. They will change in color going to pale green, tan, pink, or burgundy. The petals will feel papery. You can now cut them and bring them inside. No need to put them in water or hang them upside down. Just protect them and let them continue to dry out.

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Another method, and one I am trying for the first time, is called the water drying method. This method promises to help the bloom hold its color and shape a little better. First cut the flower with a stem length that will be easy to work with. Strip all the green leaves from the stem.

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Put the flowers in fresh water covering at least half the stem. Make sure the vase is in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Do not replace the water as it is used or evaporates. This allows the blossom to dry naturally. When the water is gone, the flower will feel papery and will be ready to use.

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I made this arrangement last fall using the late harvest method. The pale greens and tans are perfect for a fall table.

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I think I would like to try making a wreath like this one for my door this fall. It would be a nice way to thank the hydrangea for being so accommodating by blooming all summer and then changing colors just in time for fall.

I am joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday.

stylesisters

On Wednesday I am linking to a new party, Centerpiece Wednesday over at the Style Sisters. This is a relatively new party and I am excited to join it. Hope you’ll visit both parties. Thanks for stopping by…leave me a note :)

42 comments:

  1. I love the hydrangeas and dried they are so pretty also. Great post!

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  2. Your hydrangeas are so beautiful!

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  3. Gorgeous...they are my favorite flower!

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  4. Your hydrangeas Susan are out of this world gorgeous!! Thanks for the tips and do I ever love your arrangement, stunning!
    Cindy

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  5. I also love hydrangeas. I threw out some recently that I cut late Summer a few years ago and they held up great. I will be checking to see how the ones you have in the vase with water do. I tried 3 like that and put them in the garbage this morning, as they wilted. :( I have another one in a different container and it is still pretty.

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  6. I like hydrangeas too. I've just planted a white one and hope it survives. xx

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  7. Hi Susan! I love hydrangeas and have some lacecaps in my garden. I have never tried the water drying method...thanks for the inspiration! Happy weekend!...hugs...Debbie

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  8. Oh Susan I am just GREEN with envy! This is the first year that my two HUGE Hydrangeas aren't blooming! I do't know what is going on! I have 4 more smaller ones that are just full of flowers, but my big ones . . . not one single bloom.
    I'll just have to enjoy yours!
    Have a great week!
    Karen ~ Some days are diamonds

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  9. Lovely! I still have a large bunch of dried hydrangeas on the mantle. I've always just cut them and put them in a dry vase and they do just fine. I wait until late in the season. I'm going to try your second method to see if I can keep the color better.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  10. In two attempts, I have so far had no luck with hydrangeas. But my neighbors have gorgeous ones. I don't know if it's been bad luck, or I do something they don't like! I'll have to try again.
    Brenda

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  11. I love those hydrangeas! We have blue and purples, but no luck getting pinks. I know it has to do with the alkalinity of the dirt, but so far a no go. Your post is beautiful.

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  12. I have two large hydrangea bushes and really appreciate the information. Mine are both white, which I love, and will try to preserve that color this year. Thank you!!!

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  13. Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers, especially the lacecap. Thanks for the tips on drying them. I'm definitely going to give that a try this fall.

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  14. I love hydrangeas and your pictures are beautiful!

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  15. Oh, I'm like everyone here! I love hydrangeas! They are just the most gorgeous blooms. I have two blooms and am in hog heaven! :) I would like to dry them when the time comes. Your dried ones in the arrangement are so pretty! I love that wreath too!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  16. Your hydrangeas are gorgeous and thanks for the lesson on drying them. Yes, I would have to fix the floor if I got a new tub. We could just add a small mosaic type tile around it. I'm not getting one anyway. I just like the way they look.

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  17. Can't grow them where I live, but enjoyed them when I lived in CA! I love them dried and fresh...they are amazing! Joni

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  18. Ours haven't bloomed just yet. I think the cold last winter nearly got them, but they are slowly coming out.
    Thanks for the tip. Your arrangements are beautiful

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  19. LOVE hydrangeas, and yours are simply lovely! I also love them dried. My mother dried some for use on her Victorian Christmas tree. They are stunning on there.

    What I'm really jazzed about, though, is the water drying method to maintain more color. I think making a wreath like the one in the picture with water dried ones would/will be beautiful.

    I actually don't have a single bush of my own. I might just have to do a stealth visit to my sister's garden...

    Or ask. That's always an option.

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  20. Your hydrangeas are inspirational! I'm still waiting for mine -- it should be soon. Hope you'll stop by and get in on our glass vessel sink giveaway if you haven't already. Jane F.

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  21. Susan, I loved seeing these! They are wonderful! I will always think of Mr. Magpie's grandmother when I see hydrangeas because she had enormous bushes of both pink and blue ones. I think she might have had lavender, too. I have some from her yard that I've had for about fifteen or twenty years (can it be that long?) in my china cabinet, and they still have that pretty hint of blue. I think I dried those the way you mentioned with water.

    BTW, I left you a note (belatedly) on your last post. You two make a beautiful couple!

    XO,

    Sheila

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  22. I made a little something with faux hydrangeas because I love them so. You are so blessed to have the real thing.

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  23. Devouring your blog! Just found you after you posted a comment at my Well LOved Home. This blog is amazing...you are sooooo talented. I will be a follower...it's great! Sue@awelllovedhome.com

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  24. Wow, your hydrangeas truly are beautiful !! I wish I had a green thumb (and talent) like you. :)

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  25. Susan, your hydrangeas are beautiful. Mine are starting to bud. If you email your address (and any special mailing instructions), I'll get your KitchenAid in the mail.
    XX00

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  26. Susan, Your Hydrangeas are beautiful. We have more blooms this year than we normally have, and I'm loving them. Your dried hydrangeas are so pretty. Mine have accidentally dried in a vase before! Love the wreath, and I can't wait to see that centerpiece with the sliced limes (you are such a tease!) LAURIE

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  27. Hi Susan, forgot to mention...Happy Anniversary! You look fabulous in your sorority and wedding pics!

    Bonnie

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  28. Your hydrangeas are so beautiful! I can't wait until mine bloom this summer. And I also love to use them in floral arrangements, they really dry nicely!
    Hugz,
    Kim

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  29. How gorgeous! I love the stunning wreath. Great job! :)

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  30. Beautiful Hydrangeas~ they are my favorite flower :-)

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  31. Your hydrangeas are gorgeous! Mine aren't blooming yet except for the new ones I bought with blooms already and they are almost gone. Thanks for the tip on how to dry them....Christine

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  32. Gorgeous hydrangeas Susan. I absolutely love the wreath!

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  33. I'm envious! I read I could grow them in FL if I kept them on the north side of the house :(. It didn't work for me. Thank you for sharing. And-congrats on winning the Designs by Gollum drawing, lucky you!

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  34. I love growing hydrangea too! I will try the water drying method this year. Thank you for the info. Beautiful!!!
    Debbie@houseatthelake

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  35. Wow Susan.. these look great. Thanks for the info on drying them. "If" mine ever bloom, I'll try this.. hugs ~lynne~

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  36. Hi Susan,

    Hydrangeas are such a beautiful flower in the garden, fresh in the vase and then dried.
    I love the pretty wreath and also your new header to your blog.

    Enjoy the rest of the week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  37. I love hydrangeas...ours are just starting. I make wreaths every year. I have used both methods...Eventually, they will turn brown though.
    So then you can make new ones!
    Your flowers are beautiful.
    I have lacecap too, and peegee which bloom later.
    All of them are so pretty!

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  38. Love all these pictures! Such pretty colors!

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  39. Susan, these hydrangea photos are killing me. They were my Mothers favorite flower and thus, are very close to my heart. I'm loving your sense of elegance and beauty here. You seem to have skills in all departments, including photography.. I'm flattered that you would take the time to visit my blog. Then comment. Keri

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  42. Dried hydrangeas are amazing, I am going to have to give this a try next year. Thanks for sharing it.

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