Drying Hydrangeas

It is harvest time in my little patio garden.

The deep burgundy seed pods of the hyacinth bean vine are plump and ready to be popped open for next year’s seeds. The nandina berries are a lovely burnt orange. I will pick some for a fall arrangement and leave the rest to turn brilliant red for holiday decorations.

I have been experimenting with picking hydrangeas for a winter bouquet. The patio bushes are a delightful variety. The flowers are pure white in the summer, and then turn rose and a deeper burgundy in fall. The same variety is in my front garden, but those flowers are harvested by deer in springtime when juicy buds first appear. Safe in the fenced patio, the hydrangea bushes are full of flowers.

My goal is to fill a large pottery jar with hydrangeas at all stages of their color wheel. My hope is that the color wheel does not grind to a halt over winter and transform into dark brown. I have been cutting flowers at various times this fall and placing them in the jar. No hanging them upside down. The stems are sturdy. Nothing fancy.

I will see what winter brings.