When the pulse of the season changes, we're so aware of time passing...Despite the burst of heat this week, we're reminded autumn is less than two weeks away by how much earlier darkness falls and by the slanting shadows cast by the low-lying sun.
The flowers change so quickly as the solstice approaches..hydrangea petals turn leathery and color up, and sunflowers grow so large their heads droop heavily on the browning stalks....as much as I love summer, I love autumn more, and am so happy to feel the chill in the morning and evenings, pick hydrangeas for drying, and watch the birds splurge on sunflower seeds.
When hydrangea heads start to look like this, it's time to cut them and bring them indoors to dry. Just stick the stems in an inch or so of water in a jug, jar or vase, don't crowd the heads, and as the water evaporates, they'll dry beautifully in place without withering...
I should have left these sunflowers out in the garden to ripen up for a bird banquet, but I couldn't resist picking them for the house....I'm not sure which sunflower this is - it looks like 'Ring of Fire' but the tips of the petals are lemon yellow rather than golden - a perfect contrast to the mahogany inner petals dark chocolate centers.