Monday, September 19, 2011

Drying Hydrangeas for Lasting Beauty

I always know that fall has truly arrived when it is time to harvest the hydrangeas!

You can see by my Blog Header that I LOVE Hydrangeas!

Two weeks ago these beautiful blooms were a glorious spot of color in the lower garden!

But after just a couple of cool nights, they started to harden off.  

Time to pick them and bring them into the house to enjoy!

The muted colors are actually prettier in my house than the bright pink!

I love the way these showy flowers look in an arrangement....but I don't like it when they get dry and crumble.....so I use a simple little trick to keep them soft and pliable!

Just add a couple of tablespoons of glycerin to the water in the arrangement, the blossoms absorb it and the flowers will be preserved.  

I enjoy the arrangement while they dry....then tuck the blossoms away to use later.

I have been doing this for years... I have blossoms that are as much as 5 years old that I store in plastic bags. 

I use them over and over....for wreaths, tucked in the branches of the Christmas tree, for garlands.  

When I get tired of the arrangement, I pull them out....they don't crumble....and I can use them again and again.


 

 

Look at this Faux Hydrangea Wheat Garland from Pottery Barn.....selling for $69.50 and it doesn't even have REAL flowers!

I can't wait to make something similar!  I think it will look great on the dining room table.  

 

 

 

 Here is a beautiful wreath from Writer Sandy's Blog....Another Inspiration waiting


Making Wreaths


Babs at Upstairs Downstairs created this gorgeous combination using gourds, seedpods, a few hydrangeas and some twigs!


Upstairs Downstairs








 I have this bag of potpourri that I bought on clearance at Home Goods this summer that has lots of great seed pods that I can combine with some grasses from the garden....just need to get out the glue gun!













 I found a website with lots of information about preserving flowers in lots of ways.  I have copied the information about Glycerin drying...but you might be interested in the other methods included in the link.
Anything to keep the beauty of the garden for as long as possible.

"Glycerine Drying
This method keeps some flowers soft and pliable for easier handling and less shedding. Try this method with eucalyptus, baby’s breath and statice. According to "Martha", this is the best way to preserve leaves.
You will need:
Vegetable glycerine, (available at Pharmacies)
Water
A glass or enamel container large enough to hold the flowers upright
A hammer
Mix 1 part vegetable glycerine to 2 parts hot tap water, using enough to make the mixture about 2 inches deep.
Smash the bottom inch or two of the flower stems to help them absorb the glycerine quickly. (One or two whacks with the hammer is all you need.)
Place the flower stems in the glycerine-water mixture, and leave 3 to 5 days so the flowers can absorb the glycerine. (Baby’s breath can take 1 to 2 weeks, wait until the stems turn tan.) You can tell when the flowers have absorbed enough glycerine by the way they look and feel. A good way to test if they are ready is to let one stem air dry and compare it to the flowers in the glycerin after a few days. If the air dried flower feels dry and the flowers in the glycerine feel soft and look slightly darker in color they're probably ready to be taken out of the glycerine mixture.
Cut off the part of the stem that was setting in the glycerin. Allow the flowers to air dry for a week or so before storing. The glycerine/water mixture can be reused. "

I usually get my glycerine at the drugstore....sometimes you have to ask them to order it for you....but it is really inexpensive....and someday I will post about the other ways I use glycerine...
bath salts....and giant bubbles....but that is for another day!


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24 comments:

Pam said...

I'm going to try this! I love hydrangeas, but unfortunately, it's too dry to grow them here. My statice is in flower at the moment, so I'll try with them. I wonder what other flowers can be treated this way. Thanks for sharing.

Babs said...

Thanks for sharing your hydrangea preservation tips. I had forgotten about using glycerine. I didn't get to dry any hydrangeas this year as they "fried" on the bush because of the lack of rain. They never got to the stage where I could cut them. Thanks for using my photo. That was so sweet if you. I'm saving your instructions for glycerine drying.
Happy Fall.

NanaDiana said...

I just picked my own today. I have never heard that about the glycerin method but I will pick some up tomorrow. They do tend to get brittle and it will be wonderful to have them last longer. Thanks so much for the info. xo Diana

Cricket@ThriftyTexasPenny said...

Thanks for the tip on preserving hydrangeas. They are so beautiful and such great decorating items, especially for those on a budget.

refresh restyle said...

Thanks for the tip, I haven't used glycerin, but I will now!
Thanks,
Debbie

Karen said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I would love to try it myself.

Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) said...

Beautiful tips! Thanks for sharing. You got a very creative space here.
Hope to see you on my blog:)

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Oh my, your hydrangeas are just too gorgeous! How beautiful they are in the bouquet. Thank you for sharing the tips about drying. Hope you are enjoying this lovely day. Here visiting from Kathy's Autumn Party.

Blessings,
Sandi

Dawn said...

Very neat idea! I'm not very creative so I need all the help I can get! ;) Thanks for linking up for our Alexa Hop! Would love it if you came back and left me a comment under the Hop (unless you left it under a different post...I try to keep track but sometimes miss them.) :) Have a great week!

Athena at Minerva's Garden said...

This is a really cool idea--thank you for sharing it with us! I may give it a try.

Good Girl Gone Green said...

Thats a great idea! Never thought of that! :)

Cindy said...

I love hydrangeas! Great tip, thank you!

Beck Valley Books said...

New like via blog hop hoping you will follow us back at http://www.beckvalleybooks.blogspot.com thks in advance xx

Love{&}Bugs said...

I love hydrangeas too. Thanks for the tip, I'll try to remember that!
Stopping by from the weekend hop!

Cricket @ Thrifty Texas Penny said...

ingenious! New follower from the Footloose and Fancy Free hop.

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

I saw your post over on Grits and Glamour. Your hydrangeas caught my eye. They're my favorites! Such great tips, as well. I am a new blogger and your newest follower. I hope you will follow back! Blessings to you!

Ann said...

Wow, thanks ofr this great (and timely) tip! Check out my post about the flower district in downtown L.A. I wonder if this trick works with other flowers? http://housefinally.blogspot.com/2011/09/los-angeles-flower-mart.html

The Tablescaper said...

I'm going to give your idea a try. I have several bunches of hydrangeas drying around my home. I don't like it when they get dry and crunchy either.

Why don't you link your great seasonal ideas to Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

Kathy said...

This is terrific! I just love Hydrangeas in every stage - I brought some in to dry and used silica gel on others. I had heard you could use glycerin to preserve Magnolia leaves - but, this will definintely be a method I give a try! Thank you so much for sharing with A Return to Loveliness!
God Bless,
Kathy

Christina said...

Hey - I featured this on my blog today! :)

http://christinasadventures.com/2011/09/sunday-features-39.html

And I also pinned it on my pinterest board:

http://pinterest.com/christinasadven/20-below-features/

Come grab a "featured" button!! :)

Meliss @ Shabby LOCO! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meliss @ Shabby LOCO! said...

This tip came right on TIME! Thanks Gur'Friend!

Blessings from Cindy said...

Thanks so much for this post! I needed to know how to keep them soft. My 1st attempts were just letting them dry, but they are so brittle. I will be trying this as soon as I get the glycerin!
Blessings,
Cindy

silkflowers said...

I just loved your work. Thanks for sharing this. looking forward to your next blog !