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Drying Hydrangea Blooms

October 31st, 2017

Many years ago I used to dry hydrangea blooms to have in the house throughout the winter. When we moved, I no longer had the masses of hydrangeas in the garden. After adding a few, they’re finally getting to the point where they bloom enough to provide blooms for drying. The key to getting your blooms to maintain their color, is to pick them at the right time. Just as they are starting to dry, but before they start turning brown.

I didn’t get to the ‘Annabelle’ blooms before they started to turn brown, luckily I now have four or five other varieties that bloom a bit later. One of my favorites is a very large flowering variety. It only produced one giant bloom this year, but it aged beautifully in the garden and it dried very nicely. I’m looking forward to having more and more to dry each year from here on out.

I’ve been thinking more and more about flowering for drying as I plan/plant in the garden. Cutting gardens can provide fresh flowers for summer enjoyment and dried flowers to brighten the house during the winter. This winter I plan on researching flowers that are good for drying.

Do you dry any flowers for winter enjoyment? Do you have any good recommendations?

Friday Favorite: Variegated Sweet Peas

September 22nd, 2017

This spring I purchased ‘Mammoth Choice’ sweet peas from Johnny’s Seeds. The first ones to bloom were crimson, I was underwhelmed. I’m not a lover of red flowers, especially dark red garnet. Then the lavender, blue, and pink ones started blooming. A few weeks later I had a variegated purple, then this variegated bright pink.


I’m planning on saving seed from my sweet pea patch, they will end up being a mix of colors just like the patch is now. Marking the vines that produced variegated flowers might be a way to see if I can continue getting these types of flowers. I guess I’ll find out next summer when they start blooming. I’ll have to mark these vines and keep the seeds and seedlings separate in order to see if they come out like their parents.

What are a few of your favorite flowers this year?

Tithonia ‘Torch’ Seeds

September 6th, 2017

I grew tithonia a few years ago for the very first time, my garden hasn’t been without it since. Even though I’m not a huge fan of orange flowers, I grow these. Tithonia provides a very important source of late season food for pollinators, particularly migrating monarchs.


Not only are these plants great for pollinators, they’re tough plants, thriving in poor, dry soil. Mine are blooming like crazy in the less than stellar side of the garden. They also grow fairly tall, making them a really nice border around the vegetable patch. I use them as a wind break since they grow to about 5 feet tall.

Every time I’m in the garden, there are monarchs on the tithonia and the echinacea. Both very important plants to have in our gardens for pollinators. If you are interested in growing these for monarchs, hummingbirds, and bees, I’m saving loads of seeds and they will be part of my seed launch this winter.

What’s your favorite beneficial plant for monarchs and other pollinators?

A Favorite

July 18th, 2017

Every time a flower blooms I’m reminded why I have it in my garden. My favorite flower is whatever is blooming at the time. At the moment, the peony poppies are exquisite.

I have these blooming in all sorts of colors, lavender, dark pink, light pink, white. There are single ones and double ones. Next year I’m thinking of getting a few seeds for some dark ones, I’d love to see some almost black ones in with this pink color.

What’s your favorite thing blooming in the garden right now?

Tiny Bouquets

June 27th, 2017

Lately I’ve been making tiny bouquets. They’re sprinkled throughout the house where I see frequently: the kitchen windowsill, the bathroom windowsill, my desk, the front entry.


It’s a great way to use up flowers with shorter stems and much easier to deal with wilted flowers than trying to pick them out of a larger arrangements. At the moment, these tiny bouquets are making me happy.

What flowers are blooming in your garden this week? Which ones are you bringing indoors?

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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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