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Shelley Molitowsky sorts dried flowers in her work space. Her exotic dried delights line the wall behind her.


fill bins and sit next to a tub of cinnamon sticks, multi- coloured strawflowers, statice and long thin strands of dried rosemary. She’s also salvaged lemons and every variety of orang-


es from local grocers when the fruit are past their prime for customers. It wouldn't be unusual for her to dry 200 pounds of crab apples – donated by neighbours – in one season. That kind of production requires a special drier and several years ago she had a local machinist custom design a 5-foot, 17-rack drier (the size of a freezer). With the addition of natural essential oils the jars, bowls


and bags of dried bounty are transformed into all natural potpourris. This year Molitowsky is sharing her talents even further


and has joined the mid-November Homes for the Holi- days: House and Heritage Tour (see the Christmas flyout


Below: Picking crab apples.


for more information) in the St. Clement, St. Andrews and City of Selkirk region. As part of the tour she will welcome guests to her home and workshop as a fundraiser for Nova House, the regional women’s shelter, that is building a new home for the hundreds of women and children who use their services every year. Homes for the Holidays includes a tour of nine proper-


ties, many of them heritage properties that date back to the 1800s. “Some of the way I decorate with natural and dried


produce would have been exactly how homesteaders in this area were decorating for Christmas 200 years ago. In fact my mother-in-law said she remembered as a girl getting one orange at Christmas and cutting it very, very thin and hanging the pieces on a line to dry for decorations. It was practical back then and is unique and beautiful today.” K


28 • Beautiful Gardens 2015


localgardener.net


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