14 June 2013

A Roadside Gardener

flower pail
The other morning, between rain showers, I darted outside in wellies & overalls to collect a some Queen Anne's Lace. Why does it only seem to bloom on the sides of highways?

I tried hard not to be obvious as I tromped along the muddy shoulder. But of course, that's going to be the time when all the neighbors decide to head out for the day. I pretended not to be mortified as I waved. But what's a girl to do? My need for the roadside flower was just too great.
queen anne's lace bouquet
It was totally worth it.

Queen Anne's Lace reminds me of childhood summers spent at the lake cabin where my aunt would treat us with dyed bouquets in varying colors. We would pick stems from the side of the road and carry them home so she could do her magic. I loved watching them turn colors.

It's been a long time since I've done this myself. So when I saw the blooms popping up this past weekend, I seized the opportunity to play.

Want to dye some for your very own? Here's how to do it:
wildflower bouquet
Gather your bouquet
dying queen anne's lace
dying flowers
Select your vase, add 3-4 inches of water, then add 8-12 drops of food coloring.
felco garden pruners
Just prior to placing your stems in water, give them a trim. This allows the stems to easily take up the colored water.
coloring queen anne's lace
Then sit back and watch the blooms slowly deepen in color. Your flowers should begin to transform within 48 hours. Simply leave them in the colored water for the duration, refilling as needed.

Queen Anne's Lace is an annual flower that never seems to go out of style. When I used it in my step-daughter's wedding a couple of years ago, I was reminded of just how much I enjoy this old-fashioned plant.   Few plants can grow under such neglected conditions, yet produce such delicate blossoms.
Perhaps you have a June wedding on the books?

Today, I'm also over at the Queen of Hearts Antiques blog showing off some treasures I found in the Marietta store. Do stop by!


1 comment :

  1. Cool idea, Sarah! I've never heard of dying them, but I love it! I've always wondered why they only seem to grow on the side of the road, too!


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