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by Brooke Giannetti

I thought that I would talk today about the drying of hydrangea blooms since it is the time of year when they are ready to be picked and dried.  As you can see in the photo above, they are just a lovely addition to a room.  Because of their size they do not require any expertise in arranging them and they will last for months…maybe up to a year or more without needing to be replaced.  Their only enemy might be humidity or dust!  Brooke Giannetti from the wonderful blog, “Velvet and Linen,” used them on top of the book case in her home office.

Below she put them in baskets in this beautiful closet that was made from reclaimed doors.  Notice how the color of the dried hydrangea is a perfect match for the paint on the shuttered doors.

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by Brooke Giannetti

Martha Stewart made a huge display of them for a round table. Hydrangeas are the flower to use when you want to make a BIG statement!

by Martha Stewart

A few months ago my daughter gave me these hydrangeas from her yard.  I put them in a blue and white pot and they lasted for maybe two weeks.  I even used them for the heading on this blog.

After they were dried, they looked like this.  There is less volume but a beautiful blue color is still present.  I keep them on top of a book case in the family room but I moved them here for the photo because the light is better.

Then, my sweet neighbor, Donna, gave me these hydrangea heads from the bush in her yard.  They dried to this soft green color.

I put one of Donna’s hydrangea heads in this mercury glass cone and hung it on the knob of a cabinet in the front hall.

Here is a little tutorial on how to dry the flower heads.  I have successfully used two methods.  The first one is perhaps the most simple because it involves just waiting for the flowers to dry on the bush.  You can harvest them between late August and October.  The key is to wait until they are ready before picking. If you select them when they first come into bloom, you will end up with a wilted flower.  Toward the end of the summer the petals will begin to age and take on a “vintage” look.  Keep a careful watch on them and some burgundy might creep into them if left on the bush.  If they stay too long they will become a light brown.  There is beauty in that, too.

The other method that I have used successfully is to put them in a vase with water and just leave them.  Make sure the stems are covered half way with water.  Just let the water evaporate and don’t add more.  Once the water is evaporated, the petals should feel dry.

I have had success in hanging them upside down in the garage and allowing them to dry out, but I do think that the color is more intense with either of the above methods.

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by Heather Bullard

Don’t forget to harvest the beautiful hydrangea blooms that may be in your yard or the yard of a friend and neighbor.  They are so easy to arrange and will give you months and months of pleasure.  Create and be happy!