Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hydrangeas: The Perfect Flower

Hydrangeas are the mainstay in my garden. They are the flower that just keeps on giving!

These hydrangeas are along my driveway. They seem to be happy nestled here next to my white azaleas, in the dappled sunlight of the Japanese maples.

These flowers will provide many floral arrangements this fall and winter. The secret is to never pick them until they have started to age--usually in the fall. Once the petals take on a vintage look, it is time to cut them. No need to hang them upside down either. Put them in a vase, with or without water and they will dry naturally.

I even use the dried blooms for Christmas arrangements.
One year, I tucked all my dried hydrangeas in the branches of the Christmas tree!

Also, there is no need to prune hydrangeas.
If you want hydrangeas like your grandmother grew, then don't prune them back. I'll never forget the time I came home and found the gardener had cut my hydrangeas knee high! He was thinking if it was good for the roses, then it would be good for the hydrangea. It took two years for my hydrangeas to recover from their "haircut."
Hydrangeas bloom on this year's growth. So pruning them just means you won't get the flowers next spring.

If you would like to know more about hydrangeas, there is a great website here.
Hydrangeas mean summer to me, so I'm joining The Tablescaper for Summer Sunday today!

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Marigene said...

Beautiful, beautiful, favorite flower!

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

Yes they ARE the perfect flower. AND there is one for every corner and need in the garden... LOVE yours they are beautiful, just as always everything you do is "SPECTACULAR"!!! Another wonderful thing about them is "they don't seem to have ANY troubles from bugs or animals", WHAT A PLUS!!!

Kathysue said...

Delores, gorgeous, gorgeous. Good advice!!! That happened to my hydrangea and it never recovered, it has been replaced with a fern, sigh!!so sad. I just bought some white hydrangeas for my cobalt blue window box and mixed it with ferns, Love it!! Yours look so healthy and lush as do all your plantings. You get that wonderful cool air that plants just love. Take care and thanks for showing us more of your beautiful handi-work,Kathysue

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I love them too and yours look amazing! Mine are aleady faded and ready for drying, so this was such a treat!!!

The Tablescaper said...

I too love hydrangeas and think they are the ultimate summer flower!

Thanks for being a part of "Summer Sundays"!

- The Tablescaper

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Delores,

Indeed, Hydrangeas are lovely. I've done a blog on June 15, about our five varieties that were blooming then. But yours look so lush! That must be the difference in soil and climate for sure. What a scare to come home to find your Hydrangeas got a crew-cut from the gardener! Once, the painter did prune back our lovely tropical jasmine that we had as a curtain trailing down from our gazebo. It never recovered and we had to remove it... sad thing. Some people have no green thumb at all!

Sunny greetings from Georgia,


Linda @ A La Carte said...

Love the Hydrangeas also. Do you spray your dried flowers with anything? I am planning to dry some of mine this year!

Lynn said...

Very pretty! I'll bet they were amazing tucked into the branches of your Christmas tree!

savvycityfarmer said...

this flower leaves me speechless ...I've already started drying some ...


Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

Oh Delores...these are breathtaking! If only we could grow these lovlies in the Texas heat! Somtime in early June they begin panting and begging to be planted somewhere in your neck of the woods;)!

I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday afternoon!


Kathleen said...

I love hydrangeas and have many of them. I have to prune my hydrangea, they are over 8 ft tall! You can cut them right after they bloom and you will get flowers next year! Trust me! I do it every year. They bloom off the old wood.
They are also good to spray paint gold or silver...I even did some Black for Halloween. The flowers that never stop giving!

Sharing with Sherri said...

Hi Delores,
Your hydrangeas are so gorgeous! I've been wanting to plant some in my yard for long time! Still looking for the "perfect" spot!

Have a wonderful perfect day!
Hugs, Sherri:)

La Dolfina said...

You have some killer hydrangeas that really love you!! Absolutely gorgeous!!

Average Girl said...

Beautiful! Our hydrangeas took a kicking with the hot spell, they are very sad looking!

Allison Shops said...

Gorgeous. Our youngest daughter is getting married soon and her bouquet will be made of hydrangeas. They will also be in all the flower arrangements, along with other flowers.


Sonia said...

I agree.. hydrangeas are the perfect flower!!! I love bouquets in the house. Each year I squeeze a new variety into my yard. I love the area by your driveway with the japanese maples gorgeous!! The hailstorm we had in the spring damaged my blooms but I still had quite a few..I would have really missed them, especially if I had to wait 2 years!
Thanks for sharing!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I love hydrangeas and thanks for sharing yours with us! The ones in my neighborhood gave out early this year, probably due to the extreme heat.:(
Have a great week!

Dianne said...

The colours are so deep and gargeous - I was very interested to read about the pruning as I prune mine back hard every year-oops!!
beautiful pics!

Lulu said...

Hydrangeas seems to be everyone's favorite, and yours are certainly beauties. Enjoy every bloom.

Lori E said...

My mother in law would uses little clusters of dried hydrangeas around the Christmas lights on her tree and it was stunning. I am letting mine grow as per your advise.

Jacqueline said...

Oh, these are so gorgeous. We can plant them as annuals, but even so they don't do too great. I love them and I love how they change color and vary in color.

I am tagging you for an award (as soon as I get the post finished!)

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

They are a favorite of mine and yours are gorgeous! Hydrangeas are always so pretty in arrangements. xo, Sherry

Heidi said...

Hi Delores,
They are gorgeous. I am very jealous. Mine are in pots and look spindly at best. The deer eat everything else, darn them.
I am okay, want next week to be over with...would to have a nice long lunch with you sometime soon!

Fabulously French said...

Gorgeous, they are my favourite flowers.

Just wish that we had a garden so that we could grow some :-)

Leeann x

Katy Noelle said...

Dear Delores, I have a new blue hydrangea bush that Tom bought me for our anniversary. Hooray! I loved them in CA but, when I moved out East, there weren't really any varieties hearty enough to survive the winter. Just 3 or 4 years ago they came out with a few. HOOOOOORAAAAAAAY! Now, I just have to get around to planting it but it's so lovely on our porch!

Love, Katy

xinex said...

Your hydrangeas are beautiful Delores. I don't know what my problem is but I cannot seem to grow them. The leaves never get big and they don't bloom...Christine

Tracy F. said...

Beautiful! They're my favorites, too. So showy and yet old-fashionedly charming, at the same time. The blue ones are my favorites. So much so, that I keep making the gardener move the pink ones to the "back forty" and plant more blue ones in the front yard! I'll have to pass along the pruning tip.

Olive said...

When I try to dry them in a vase they just look awful so it is upside down for me. Following you now. Thanks bunches for visiting me. olive

Anonymous said...

Delores: I had just posted about hydrangeas last week:
I've never had them before: we just bought a new house and now I've inherited two! Thanks for the link here: I definitely learned something!!
I always thought of them as "old lady flowers" but ah yes, they have become quite the "modern" flower lately.
Thanks so much for the post!

Debbie said...

So lovely! thank you for the information. I will use the advice for my own hydrangeas.

Sarah said...

Delores, hydrangeas are the perfect flower. I wish I had more of them in my garden. I'm adding some each year. Thanks for the info about not pruning them.
I've missed some of your recent posts so took some time this evening to visit them. The party was elegant and the visits to other places around the wine country so inviting. Thanks for sharing all of this. ~ Sarah

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