- With Heart and Hands: A Quilting Journey
- What If?
- Alzheimer's Illustrated:From Heartbreak to Hope
- Healing Hearts Textile Arts
- The Healing Art of Sewing and Quilting
- Fidget Quilts
- Making Prayer Flags
- My Tutorial Link Lists: By Themes
- Please Respect Creative Common Copyrights
- With Heart and Hands: Michele Bilyeu (blog)
Saturday, October 13, 2007
How To Dry Hydrangeas
When people hear that I am pruning my hydrangea bushes to dry the blooms, they always ask me how I do it. It's simply really. I cut them and put them in my bathtub.
Hydrangea blossoms are one of the easiest of all flowers to dry because if you cut them late enough in the season (October is usually perfect) they dry, all on their own. Cut them too soon in the fall...and they wither away into nothingness.
The experts will tell you to cut them off,above a leaf node at about the height you want the shrub to be pruned at for the winter...usually in the 3' to 4' range. The cut stems are then stripped of their leaves, bound with a rubber band in groups of half a dozen to a dozen, and placed in a few inches of water. You allow the the inch or two of water to naturally evaporate, as the flowers dry out, on their own. The other option is to simply hang them upside down in a cool, dry place...dark is better to preserve the coloration.
I place mine in pails or tubs and simply put all of them in one bigger tub...the bath tub. We have another bathroom, so I can just leave them there, lights off until they are fully dry...usually within a week or two.Then, I hang them up somewhere or place them in wicker baskets for storage.
What do I do with all of these you ask? Well, during the 80's, I made wreaths, bouquets, floral arrangements or arch pieces. Some I sold, some I gave away. In the 90's, I cut down to a wreath or two, one or two bouquets, and a few gift arrangements. In the 2000's, well, true to my beloved time warp abode, I still decorate with a few bunches and a wreath or two.
I will still have a lot leftover, but you never know who might get married on the spur of the moment and not be able to afford flowers. I've been known to give bagfuls away, and help make arrangements or swags or garlands, to help out. What else does one do with 5 hydrangea bushes ...when otherwise you sit and watch them all turn to winter mush in the yard?
And if you have guests, and they ask to use the bathroom...well, you can hardly wait to see if they mention anything!
blooms collected from one single bush