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With chilly mornings and cool evenings fall begins to hint at its imminent arrival. In anticipation of its entrance the hydrangeas will soon close their spectacular summer show, and are perfect for picking in order to dry nicely. As a result of particularly hot days some have faded to a shade reminiscent of old linen, while others have transitioned into magnificent varicolored hues of dark red, eggplant purple, and brilliant green. Basket and pruners in hand, my two daughters and I along with Bob’s ever-present energetic enthusiasm went to select the loveliest of the blooms.

I collected my first harvest and put together a wreath to enjoy throughout the winter that included nearly twenty-four blooms of various size. Over the years I have wrapped freshly cut hydrangeas in place with wire, attached each stem to a florist’s pick before exercising my forearm as I muscled them into a straw wreath, and dripped hot glue on me as well as the stem while exclaiming “ouch, ouch, ouch” as I secured them in place. I am still working on an easier technique that allows me to successfully complete more than one. They are time consuming to make–at least for me–require an enormous amount of colorful blooms that need to be picked at the precise time in order to dry properly, and create a mess in my kitchen. An initial failed attempt required me to start completely over but  it eventually turned out. I totally understand and appreciate why they cost so much in the store.