Drying A Harvest of Peonies

Red blooms open first.

Red blooms open first.

Among my favorite flowers is the spring peony.  We are fortunate to have four red bushes and an entire long row of pinks and whites, making a spectacular display in late June.  This year I am committing flower sacrilege by cutting most of the blooms as they first open to dry for wreaths.  When cut the very first day and air-dried, the petals hold well and they look like a dried rose.

As the reds started to fall, the pinks and whites opened in a long hedge of blooms.

As the reds started to fall, the pinks and whites opened in a long hedge of blooms.

Although I love to see the whole hedge blooming, peonies usually fracture and fall in a shower of petals after two or three days; with frequent rain showers, they last an even shorter period of time.  But when the fragrant blooms are dried in the open beams of my great room, they last for years as an everlasting  wreath.

Bushels of blooms!

Bushels of blooms!

A fringe benefit is the sweet fragrance of fresh peony that fills my home as they dry.  Bunch them in small bunches, preferably no more than three, using rubber  bands.  The blossoms will shrink by 2/3’s and only a rubber band will shrink with the stems.  Hang them upside/down from the ceiling in a very dry environment away from direct light.  Because dried blooms are fragile, allow them to remain hanging until they are glued into a wreath base of neutral everlastings.  Everlasting rose and peony wreaths will be available at our September 15, 2015, September Sale @ Farm Grove. 

A floral wreath is an elegant cottage gift that celebrates spring throughout the seasons.

HAPPY SPRING from the Farm Grove Barn

Groveland, Illinois

 

About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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