Dried flowers diaries August 2013

A lavender stall, preserving hydrangeas, and chamomile tea

Apologies for the lateness of this post! Not only am I late by about a week, but there are always less blog posts from me in August as I try and spend some extra time with my family.

A lavender stall spotted in Prague

This summer we have all been camping and going for lots of days out. Mike and I also spent a few days in Prague where we spotted a lovely lavender stall in Wenceslas Square. Amongst other things the stand was selling “Provence” embroidered lavender bags, so not locally grown then!

Preserving Hydrangeas

It’s hydrangea time again. Last year I spent a lot of time experimenting with preserving hydrangeas, and this year I have pressed some, and am drying some in a vase.

Drying hydrangeas in a vase

This is one of may favourite vases in the picture below, it is very similar to the one in Van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting. I picked three flower heads and put them in the jar with a little water. They have lovely soft autumnal colours. The water will not be replaced, and eventually the flowers will dry naturally. I wrote a post about how to preserve hydrangeas last year if you would like to try it.

preserving hydrangeas

Hydrangeas drying

Pressing hydrangeas

The hydrangea head below is from the same plant as the ones above, but is a more vibrant colour as it came into flower more recently. I have snipped off the individual florets and pressed them in my homemade press.

How I made my flower press

I wanted quite a big press, so have knocked one up that is about 40cm along each side. In the image, the flowers are laying on blotting paper, and you can just see the layers of cardboard at the edges. I’ve got enough paper and card for at least 5 layers at the moment. It’s all sandwiched between two large floor tiles (I didn’t have any wood to hand, and they have the benefit of being heavy!), and weighed down with books. I will check them in a few days and see how the flowers faired. More about the flower press.

Preserving hydrangeas by pressing

Preserving hydrangeas by pressing

The two above methods are ways in which you can dry flowers without an airing cupboard – do check out my recent post on the subject for more ideas.

Chamomile tea

After spending some time thinking about uses for chamomile flowers, I wrote a post in August about chamomile tea. I was very pleased to be growing it in my own garden for a change. Look out for an imminent article about using chamomile as a hair rinse too.

making chamomile tea

Making chamomile tea

The month ahead should see a slow shift to a more autumnal theme…but I am in no rush to leave summer behind!

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