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Drying Hydrangias  

I have always adored Nikko Blue Hydrangeas.  This year I saw a beautiful wreath made with dried blossoms.  I have two huge bushes.  I've never tried drying them, but I love them so, that now I just had to try!  I searched the web for how to do it.  I found lots of different ideas.  The exciting thing is I read that if you keep them out of moisture and direct sunlight, they "last indefinitely"!  Awesome! 

All the directions had a lot in common.  They said to pick them when they were at the end of the blooming cycle and had changed colors.  As I have Nikko Blues, mine turn lovely greens and pinks, and occasionally a little white.  Remove all leaves and cut fresh diagonal cuts on the stems.  Leave plenty of space between blossoms so air could circulate freely and keep them out of direct sunlight.

Method one:  Put them in 4" of water, then leave them alone for two weeks. 

Method two:  Do the same as above, but this time add some glycerine to the water.

Method three:   Do the same initial preparation as above, but this time don't add water or glycerine.  Just set them in a dark room.

I tried all three methods.

Method one:  After about two weeks, some of my lovely blossoms dried nicely this way.  Some shriveled and turned brown and were tossed.  Some kept their shapes, but had parts that turned brown and the rest stayed lovely.

Method two:  This was not a happy time.  Almost immediately almost all of them turned brown and started to smell.  Some kept their shape, but they turned almost entirely brown.  Two weeks later they aren't fully dry yet.

Method three:  Duh.  The easiest of all hands down worked the best!  No water.  No glycerine.  I had done the other two batches on my dining room table, out of the light and with lots of room around each blossom.  With my table still full of those, I had to think of somewhere else to dry this last batch.  We have converted garage attached to the house.  It has no heat or air except when we open the kitchen door for laundry or something and it's dark.  I simply laid them gently on the sofa and love seat with plenty of room around them.  Because the other methods have taken so long, I didn't think to check on them till the third night, tonight.  Guess what?  They are all dry already!  Only tiny spots of brown on a couple and the color and detail is peeerrrrfffeeect and no odor like with method two!  LOL Of course it's the easiest way that worked best!

I had an idea to save the blossoms that kept perfect shape, but had some brown spots on them.  I used Krylon Chrome spray paint and gently sprayed only the spots that were brown.  The over-spray made a delicate gradient to the natural dried colors.  They are utterly gorgeous!  There were a couple blossoms that had a lot of brown, but perfect shape, so I sprayed them entirely silver.  They both mix in great with the all natural blossoms.

Aren't they gorgeous?  I can't wait to make something with these amazing beauties!

For blossoms that turned entirely brown, but kept their shape, I took the paint a step further.  I added a couple of colors to the Krylon Chrome.  I used Krylon Pistachio and Ivory, both in satin.  They are perfect matches for the dried colors!  I covered the blossoms with one or the other and then used the other and the chrome as light touches here and there, some on the fronts and some on the backs of the blossoms.  I'm going to get a blue too that will match the dried natural blue and then they'll be GREAT!  The clusters I've painted so far look amazing and all the more natural for the variety of colors on them and I love just the lightest touches of chrome here and there.  These are simply breathtaking!  Hope this inspires you to try saving these delicate gems God has blessed us with!  I just know there are uses for them in our homes.  Thanks for dropping by!

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