Friday, October 17, 2014

A Beautiful Harvest

It has been an abundant year for my 
Hydrangea bushes! 

Not wanting these beautiful blossoms to go to waste, 
I have been filling baskets, boxes, and every container I can find! 

I have also been making wreaths.

Come along with me and I will show you how
to harvest and preserve these beautiful flowers. 

I grow Nikko Blue Hydrangea. 
(Click on the link if you would like more info and to buy your own)

Normally these are bright blue, but this time of year
they have faded to lovely shades of green, tinged with rose. 

At this time of year,
(approx. the 3rd week of Sept. onward -
 or when the petals feel papery to touch) 
I can cut these lovely blossoms and they will stay 
perfectly formed without any water! 

Here you can see the contrast of colors, 
with some newer blossoms showing 
their glorious blue coloring. 

These blue blossoms would have
 to be preserved by letting them dry
 in a container with a bit of water. 
Just let the water evaporate over time 
and the blossoms will dry gradually. 

The older blossoms need no water. 

Cut the stems right above a leaf node. 

Nikko Blue sets bloom
                          on stems two years old and older.                       
If you want to trim back your Nikko Blue
further than the first or second leaf node, 
you will sacrifice next year's blossoms!

So be careful about that. 

I fill large baskets with these glorious blooms. 

My faithful companion, Champ. 

To fill a large, shallow basket, 
crumple newspaper in the bottom. 

Fill the perimeter first, then the middle. 
The blossoms with hold each other together. 

A bountiful harvest!

Let's go inside and see where they are placed....

My European laundry basket gets
 placed on the bedroom armoire. 

The green basket resides on the stair landing. 

This is the view from the kitchen.
Extra folding chairs line the hallway.  

A pool of late afternoon sunshine 
from the octagonal window
glows on the wall. 
I keep part of my collection of Posie Paintings here. 

I painted the blue cupboard years ago. 
I keep photos inside. 

This small area brings cheer 
to walking up and down stairs. 

To make the Hydrangea wreath, I chose 
approximately 12-18 small blossoms
and wired them to a coat hanger shaped into a circle,
then wrapped in floral tape,

It's easiest to tear 12" strips off the roll to do the wrapping. 

The tape allows the hydrangea stems to be wired on without slipping. 

You will need a roll of floral wire and cutters, too. 

Starting at the top, lay the first stem 
against the wrapped coat hanger
and wire in place, wrapping about 3 or 4 times.
 Keep the wire attached to the spool
as you go along. 

Simply lay the next blossom over this wrapped 
stem and wire that one in place. 

Continue around. 

To secure the end of the wire, 
Tie a little knot around the hanging hook by the base. 

So simple and easy! 

Hang your wreath by the hanging hook! 


Don't cut the remaining blossoms off your Nikko Blue, 
but allow them to remain until spring. 

They will turn tan and papery and you can harvest some
for Christmas wreaths! 

The remaining blossoms also afford some frost protection
to vulnerable buds. 

Trim the remaining blossoms
 when you see signs of growth in spring. 

I hope you will give Nikko Blue Hydrangea 
a place in your garden, too! 


Thank you , Dear Friends for your lovely comments on 
my recent trip to New England and the wedding. 
'Friendship is a word the very sight of which
in print makes the heart warm.'
-Augustine Birrell-

Linking with: Ivy and Elephant's- What's it Wednesday

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Wedding

After much anticipation, we attend the wedding 
of our niece Ashley, to her sweetheart, Rob. 

Aren't they precious?

They met in college and had a long courtship-
8 years. 

Ashley is the beautiful daughter of my husband's brother
and wife. 

The guests await....

Daughter Heather gives us a smile. 

We traveled from Seattle to Boston
 with 3 of my 4 children and their spouses to attend. 

The groom awaits....

The lovely Mother of the Bride 
escorted by the Bride's older brother. 

One of six beautiful bride's maids. 

The adorable ring bearer streaks by! 

The beautiful Bride on the arm of a proud Father.

So hard to give her away.....

but with his blessing to a good man. 

She hands her bouquet to the maid of honor. 

She faces her groom. 

Vows are spoken...

Rings exchanged....

Sealed with a kiss. 

The Happy Couple greet their guests. 

We arrive at the reception. 

A beautiful venue. 

Sweeping views. 

A glimpse from the entry. 

Delicious nibbles while we wait. 

A lovely memorial table for those attending in spirit. 

We choose our place card from the few remaining....

Shall we take a peek at the reception room? 

I use my 'Paparazzi' credentials to get the first peek :)

A beautiful chandelier and draped ceiling
over the Bride and Groom's table. 

A place of honor...

Soft lighting. 

Windows overlooking the golf course. 

Inviting tables. 

A delectable corner. 

Plenty of room for dancing! 

My two sons and lovely wives pose in the paneled lobby. 

My daughter and husband. 

We find our seat. 

First Dance....

Best Man toast...

Preparing to cut the beautiful cake...

Father-Daughter dance. 
Teary eyes. 

I share a dance with my Ramblin' Man. 

We pose in the hilarious photo booth. 
I am the one with the heart shaped sunglasses
surrounded by family. 

We all dance the night away!

We step outside for some fresh air
 and to enjoy the beautiful architecture. 

 I see you! 

All too soon this wonderful night was over.

Daughter Heather at the Candy Favor Table. 

Ethereal offerings...

It was a beautiful wedding
and we are so glad we came. 

We wish our young couple all the best that life has to offer.  

And as the full moon rises over Boston Harbor, 

With heavy hearts we say goodbye. 

With one last glimpse of the city of Boston, 
silhouetted against a glorious sky,
we head for home with a heart full of precious memories. 


Thank you for joining me, Dear Friends. 

I'm so glad you could come along! 

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