It seems like no matter how early you do Christmas shopping, there are always those unforeseen instances when you need something quick. It happens to me all the time, that is why I start planning for the unexpected early in the spring. I pick cat tails and pussy willows in the spring before they turn to fluff and save them. Later on I pick everlastings and dry them. They are tiny white flowers that grow about 12-inches high and they dry well. I tie them together and hang them upside down.

I dry delphiniums the same 918kiss way. I pick tansy, strawflowers, daisies, black eyed susans and any kind of wildflower that I can dry. In the late summer I pick my hydrangeas and dry them. I gather pine cones and winterberry in the fall along with bittersweet, red brush and princess pine. I add all this to my stash of dried chili peppers and bay leaves. Next I make a trip to the supermarket for fresh garlic bulbs and bay leaves.

Now all I have to do is create useful wreaths or swags from the edible things. The white garlic, red chili peppers and green bay leaves make a beautiful wreath to hang in the kitchen for use. I arrange them different ways and they are the colors of the season. Every person who cooks will appreciate this.

I make center pieces from the red winterberry, green princess pine and the white hydrangeas. They last forever. I glue a few pine cones on and add a red candle and it is done. I also make country scenes inside a picture frame to hang on the wall. I use all the different dried flowers, herbs and weeds to create a picture. All I need is a glue gun and my goofy imagination.

Pussy willows, cat tails, hydrangeas and delphiniums make an interesting combination for a dried arrangement. I made one for myself 5 years ago and it looks the same today as it did then. I spray everything with hair spray after it is dried. I think that makes them last. Make something for yourself like I did before giving it away. I make different arrangements every year for any occasion and myself.


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