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Aged to Perfection

howtodryhydrangeas

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”  – Lauren DeStefano, Wither

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It started as a humble hydrangea from Trader Joe’s. After it had done it’s best to enhance my kitchen, where it sat enclosed in an antique creamware pot, I had my gardener {Mr. FGH} plant it in a suitable clay pot and it spent summer outdoors, listening to the laughter of our family as we played lawn games, and had dinners outside on the long table and French folding chairs.

Hydrangeafgh

Once August started to wane, the beautiful bright BLUE flowers turned this gorgeous, muted shade of blue, purple and green.

frenchgreenhydrangea

I waited until just the right time to pick the huge blooms, they were already in that “papery” stage on the plant. Below are some other ones, I love how some of the flowers from the same plant {now really a bush} turned completely different colors at this stage.

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Dried, I love their color and shape, they make dramatic arrangements. The zinc container just arrived from France and is in the shop, isn’t it such a great shape? Hoping that I can keep the flowers  this color through the autumn and winter months. I’ll keep you posted!

hydrangeafall

Here are my tips for drying hydrangeas the natural way, for lasting beauty to use through autumn and winter months.

  1. The best time to cut the flowers is late morning, just after the dew has evaporated from the leaves. Choose flowers that have begun to change color, they will almost already have a slightly papery feel. Only choose the best, most beautiful blooms, because drying will bring out any imperfections. Blue, Pink, Burgundy and Purple flowers are best for drying.
  2. Remove every leaf from the stems, then cut stems 12 to 18 inches down from the base of the flower.
  3. Fill a deep vase half way with lukewarm water. Then put all your cut hydrangeas in the water, all the stems should be submerged at least several inches.
  4. Put your vase on a table or chest of drawers out of direct sunlight so you can enjoy the bouquet. It should be relatively cool in the room for this to work.
  5. Let the water evaporate from the vase, don’t refill! Most flowers here at home will take anywhere between 10 to 25 days to dry completely, it also depends on the conditions in your home with humanity, warmth and air circulation. The blooms should feel like paper, and the stems will snap easily.

TIP: Once the hydrangeas are dry, you can spray them {outdoors please} with an aerosol hairspray to protect the color and keep them from shattering. You can also buy a special spray for dried flowers at a florist supply, but I usually just use the hair spray. It works!

Hydrangeafghcut

ps. If you want to know how to keep cut hydrangeas fresh longer, read this post. You won’t believe the difference it makes!

You may want to pin this to your pinterest board for future reference. {For those of you on an iPad, I’m working on a different plug-in as my current Pinterest pinning buttons on photos only work on hover. Sorry, please pin with your PinIt button!}

11 Responses to Aged to Perfection

  1. Hi, Lidy,
    All I can say is Beautiful, love the purple, they are one of the pretty flowers for sure, thanks for sharing have a great week, Happy Fall~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  2. Kathy, you can buy a special spray for dried flowers and use that. Or, you can use a paintbrush and gently dust the flowers {out doors}, or using a blow dryer set on cool and low to gently blow dust off.

  3. Lidy, you’re so lucky to have hydrangea flowers. Because of a cold snap this spring and the drought this summer there are few hydrangeas in bloom on Cape Cod this year. But I’m saving your instructions for next year that hopefully will be better! Beautiful article!

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