There’s little else in my life that seems to give me as much satisfaction as having flowers around the house. They brighten up a rainy day, they’re a little bunch of nature blossoming on your kitchen table, and they’re the morning sunshine sat on your breakfast tray. There’s absolutely nothing else you can add to a room that brings as much colour, texture and scent as flowers do.
Some people wait for Valentine’s Day, birthdays or anniversary’s but I have no such notions, plus Nick has never been a romantic. I’m the person who will happily go and buy herself a lovely bunch just because it’s a Wednesday, or any other day for that matter.
Anyway, my problem arises with the sheer volume of flowers I want in the house, it far exceeds what is reasonable, and my florist bill would be double my wage! However, where there’s a problem there’s always a solution. I’ve found a nifty way to keep a vase of flowers in most corners without having the constant cycle of buying, feeding, enjoying and then throwing out, the solution is…
All you need is a hydrangea shrub, some secateurs, a vase and some water. Hydrangeas are brilliant blooms for drying, meaning they’ll last for years, if you cut them at just the right time they keep a lot of their colour too. When I say forever, the oldest I have are 2 years so I have no proof, but they still look the same as they did and 2 years is far better than the 10 days you get out of most.
This is a vase I filled last year.
Now because I believe in spreading the hydrangea love, I’ve got a step by step guide so you can fill your house too, it’s just so easy!
How to dry and preserve hydrangeas…
- Use Mopheads. I have no experience with any other variety so I cannot say how they’ll turn out. I’ve never tried a white one either but that’s my plan so i’ll keep you posted.
- Timing is everything. Cutting a bloom at its peak of colour would seem like the best way to go but it isn’t, if the bloom is too young it will just wilt and die within a few days. Wait until the flower dries on the plant first, you can usually tell because the colours start to change.
- Cut the stem. Cut as far down as you can, it doesn’t really matter where but the shorter the stem the harder they are to arrange. You can always trim them later.
- Pull off all the leaves.
- Place in water. Fill a vase of water so the stems are at least half covered.
- Watch in wonder. Leave on the sideboard and just enjoy looking at them, over time the water will dry out and your pretty flowers will be pretty forever.
Please don’t cut off too many flowers, to quote my hero Monty Don, “you don’t want to rob Peter to pay Paul.” I’ve taken three blooms off each plant in one year but this depends on the size of your plant, of course you can do as you like but I love my shrubs and want them to be just as bountiful next year.
So if you don’t have a bush I suggest you get to your grandma’s house, or your folks house, or Margaret next door and request permission to snip away. Remember to give at least one back in a little vase and a box of chocolates to say thank you though.
Written with love