Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Preserved Hydrangeas

We've added a number of new preserved Hydrangeas over at Nettleton Hollow. We've started to focus on Hydrangea paniculata, also known as Limelight Hydrangeas, as the stems and flowers tend to be sturdier and more resilient than dried Mophead Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla).

Pink Preserved Hydrangea paniculata displayed on a Sandblasted Manzanita Branch. The contrasting form and color of the Hydrangea and the Manzanita Branches works quite well. 

Select Grade Magenta Preserved Limelight Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata). These have been dyed a particularly deep and striking color. 

As with most items, we have both Select Grade Hydrangeas, and Project Grade Hydrangeas. The picture above shows the difference between the two. 

The Project Grade Hydrangeas, currently priced around $10.00, are a great value but will require a bit of fluffing and rearranging to get them into form for display. They tend to be somewhat flattened, and some of the blooms may be broken. 

With the Select Grade bundles, we've fluffed and rearranged the stems as necessary, replaced any sub-par stems, then bundled them with raffia, so you can drop these preserved Hydrangea bundles into a vase, or use them as part of a more complex centerpiece. These generally cost $5.00 more than the Project Grade Hydrangeas, but are a great option if you are looking for a quick and simple floral accent and would rather leave the fussing up to us!

A quick note about Dried vs. Preserved Hydrangeas. The term "preserved" generally refers to items that have been treated with glycerol (glycerine), a non-toxic substance that displaces the water in plant material such as flowers and foliage. Preserved Flowers generally have a form and feel similar to fresh flowers. Over time, however, preserved flowers will slowly dry out as well and start to feel more like they've been dried. With finer flowers such as Hydrangeas and Hanging Amaranthus this can happen fairly rapidly (they'll feel noticeably drier in a month or two), while with thicker items such as Preserved Roses, there won't be any noticeable drying for many months, if not years.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dried Safflower and Lemon Mint

We have a couple of new dried flowers that look great just dropped into a vase - Dried Safflower (Carthamus tinctorus) and Dried Lemon Mint (Monarda citriodora).

Safflower is actually one of the most ancient cultivated crops - the Egyptians used it to dye their textiles, and garlands of it were found in King Tut's tomb. One thing about it is that it has little spines, so you might want to wear gloves while handling it.

Although one of the common names of Monarda citriodora is Lemon Mint, my nose doesn't detect a trace of lemon - it smells like oregano to me! Other common names include Blooming Monarda and Purple Horsemint. It is native to North America.