October was fast approaching and I needed to start making my paper flower of the month.After standing in the garden, hands on hips and indulging in much umming and aahing, I came up with an idea.Yes, there are still lots of flowers in the garden but not the great showstopper that I was after.So, I have decided to cheat a little and go, not for a living bloom, but to recreate the cut hydrangea heads that are merrily drying around the house.
Hydrangea flowers in spring, summer and autumn
I am a big fan of the hydrangeas in our garden. From the moment when they produce these wonderfully green tinted flower heads, passing through their great blousy moments in mid-summer to the wonderful nuances in their autumn heads. Even better, you can then cut them, dry them and use them decoratively around the house in vases or as wreaths.
Left, a wreath made with recently cut flowers, right, a wreath made with year dried flowers and in the middle Octavia taking a short break from dried hydrangea eating.
A note of warning to those of you who are owned by deranged cats. Octavia our ginger female, who I love dearly, has a penchant for the dried flowers. In the middle of the night, while snoring gently into my pillow, she jumps up on the top of wardrobe and starts crunching loudly into an arrangement I have in a disused chamber pot. Dried hydrangeas for those of you who are born with a nervous disposition and co-habit with such cats may need to consider the careful positioning of your blooms to avoid unnecessary stress.
Left, the cut hydrangeas. Middle, My paper flowers with the real ones. Right, a vase of my paper flowers.
Anyway, I digress. This year I went online to find the appropriate time to cut the heads for drying and the latest technique for achieving the best results. The many bloggers who post on such subjects seemed in agreement that drying hydrangeas in water was the way forward. A counter-intuitive process that took Jonathan a little time to embrace – engineers can be pernickety on such details I find. So heads cut, the stems are now languishing in our national collection of bird fat ball tubs half filled with H2O.
Making up my paper hydrangeas and the finished articles
To the bit where I try and make some...I haven’t attempted to copy the flower petal shape but more get across that impression of lots of colour and a fair bit of texture. I used watercolour paint on green paper to add in the lovely reds, pinks and browns. Each “petal” is glued to a small metal pin and pressed in to some covered and shaped foam. A little fiddly and quite time consuming but I am not displeased with the final result. I am also hopeful that Octavia won’t be tempted by them as a midnight snack.
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