I love preserving flowers, as often they mark a special moment in time. I still have a pressed flower I picked in Paris, during our courting days many moons ago. I also dried my wedding bouquet - so when I'm a little old lady, I can put a tablecloth on my head and relive the moment all over again ... 'dum dum de dum ...'
One of my favourite flowers to dry is the hydrangea. Their beautiful colours - the subtle pastel hues of vintage pink, green and blue that tinge each petal ... the way they change colour constantly as they age (rather like us) and the texture of the petals, how just before they dry they feel velvet-like. The life of a flower is fleeting, but Hydrangeas seem to have a timeless, almost antique persona. In fact if they could talk I think they'd sound like Queen Victoria, or Joan Collins?
When to pick Hydrangeas for drying
Drying Hydrangea successfully can be quite tricky, but it really is simple.
You need to pick them at the right time. If you pick them too soon, at the height of their season they will curl up and wilt because there's too much moisture in the petals. Instead pick them at the end of the summer, when the moisture has left the petals, leaving them with a papery texture. Then they will not curl because there is no moisture left in the flower.
How to dry Hydrangeas
Once you've cut your flower, strip the leaves and pop them in a vase with a little water in the bottom and leave them and let the water evaporate. Perhaps try the above with one flower, if some of the petals still curl, it's still a little too soon. Leave it a little while longer then try again. Don't give up because practise makes perfect, and once you know you'll always pick at the right time.
Other methods of drying
There are many other methods for drying Hydrangeas, including using silica gel or borax. I've yet to try these myself so I can't comment, but I've been assured that while it can be an expensive procedure the result can be breathtaking (if you're into flowers that is.)
Hydrangea wreath - An autumn project!
So get picking (when the time is right of course), and once you've dried your Hydrangeas why not make this beautiful Hydrangea wreath with them! It's an east straightforward project that you can enjoy all year round, and would make a wedding beautiful gift, or wedding decoration! Enjoy ...
How to make a dried Hydrangea heart