Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hydrangea Memories

When I was a kid, it seemed like every friend's grandmother had fussy bunches of preserved Hydrangea in the house- faded and usually covered in dust.

So for years, there was no love lost between me and Hydrangea. Until the first year I vacationed in Chatham, Massachusettes on Cape Cod and was surrounded by masses of gorgeous blue Hydrangea blooms. Let me tell you, I was smitten from that point on! I even bought a bush while I was there, in a vain attempt to get the same effect at my home in Vermont.

I say "in vain", because back then, I was unaware that the PH of the soil was responsible for the blue (or pink) color of the blooms. Now that I have more gardening experience under my belt it's not a mystery anymore, though I can't say I have much more luck with Hydrangea bushes in general. Their water needs are just more than I can manage.

Still, I love them as a cut flower, and brides do too, as they are at the very top of the wish list, from casual to formal weddings. This is one versatile bloom! Hydrangea is available year-round, and in a range of colors. In the language of flowers, Hydrangea means 'perseverance'- how appropriate for a wedding flower!

If you are fortunate enough to have a big bush of Hydrangea at home, take time to bring some inside and let them dry slowly. Every one of them will dry to a different color, some to a rusty brown, some retaining a bit of the blue, but all will be gorgeous. Once dry, you can use artificial flower foam to construct a wreath, like this one.

Or if you have a great weathered urn like this, fill it simply, and let the Hydrangea act as an accent to the container, rather than being the star of the show.

On a recent trip to Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina, I was introduced to Hydrangea "Big Daddy".-and I was hooked all over again!

Thinking of Hydrangea for your upcoming wedding? Call Bloomers for more ideas!

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