Hydrangeas Stand in for Greens

I always dry a massive  bunch of blue hydrangeas in the summer, a project that was far easier when I lived on Long Island than it is here in Maine.  Our harsh climate makes it virtually impossible to grow my favorite blue mop tops that bloom on old wood , but I’m learning to deal with the relatively new Early Summer varieties that blossom on new wood.  These hydrangeas, often mixed with dried peonies, provide colorful bouquets for dreary winter days – and when the season is over, I put the best away to be used the following year as part of my Christmas décor. 

When it’s time to decorate for the holidays, I pull out the hydrangeas and spray some of them with gold or silver paint to perk up Christmas greens and holiday potpourris. Others I leave in their natural state and mix them with golden accents as I have in this wreath. To make one yourself, you’ll need a twig wreath as the base.  They’re easy to make in the early fall when bittersweet or other vines are still flexible, but they are readily available in most craft stores, too.

 Here is a list of the ingredients you’ll need:

1 twig wreath
Dried hydrangeas
Sprigs of bittersweet 
Pine cones sprayed bright gold
Small gold ball ornaments
Crab apples  (artificial ones from a craft store or Crafta.com eliminate   worries about spoilage)  
Red ribbon for a bow
Hot glue and glue gun
Florist’s picks and wire

Begin by attaching a loop of florist’s wire at the top of the wreath so you‘ll be able to hang it up.  Then break the hydrangea blossoms apart into generous sized pieces and attach them all around the wreath with hot glue.  If you have made a bittersweet wreath you may already have sprigs of bittersweet poking through.  If not, put a dab of hot glue on the end of a sprig and tuck it in among the hydrangea blossoms.  Attach the pine cones, apples, and gold balls to picks and secure them in the twig wreath.  Alternately, if they don’t seem very stable, glue them to the wreath.  Lastly, make a big red bow and wire it to the wreath.  Enjoy.

Get in touch at emelietolley@aol.com.  
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© photos Chris Mead;  text Emelie Tolleyhttp://www.Crafta.com/mailto:emelietolley@aol.comhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Emelie-Tolley-Herbs/132861443432843http://livepage.apple.com/shapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2

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