Last fall I picked the Annabelle Hydrangea flowers before they turned dark brown. It is so easy to make a simple swag. Just tie the stems together with light wire. I added a few dried roses and some sprigs of ornamental oregano, one of the origananum laevigatums, which have spiky purple flowers that dry well and keep their color.
Annabelle Hydrangea ( hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle') does well on the north side of my neighbors wall. Our area tends to be quite dry, so I have clumped together close to our watering source a few moisture loving plants. Annabelle blooms on new wood. So in late winter, one day when the sun is shining and we have that odd 60 to 70 degree day, I will go out and prune it close to the ground. That helps revitalize it and encourages good form and gives me the feeling that I am gardening, even in the winter. Here's how it looks in the summer and winter.