Hydrangeas are definitely my favourite flower. I love their vibrant colours, their beautiful green leaves and their amazing size.
I enjoy them when they bloom in late spring in my garden...
|Annabelle Hydrangeas change from white to green|
|This is one plant!|
...and in late summer when their colours change and they can be picked and dried. ( Although they can be picked as soon as they bloom, the flowers will wilt after a few days. So I prefer to wait until they feel just right - the petals tend to be firmer - and they last much longer.)
I love hydrangeas so much that I even have good quality, everlasting ( faux ) ones that I mix with dried flowers.
|Dried and faux mixed together|
Annabelle hydrangeas start out very white and gradually turn the most bright green. Once picked, I remove the leaves and place them in vases with just a bit of water in the bottom. They dry beautifully and retain their vibrant colour.
|Vases of Annabelle hydrangeas on my mantle|
And if you leave the Annabelle flowers on the plant long enough, they will turn brown. While some people might not care for brown flowers, they can make a fantastic centrepiece when arranged in a basket. I also like to use the brown ones for a fall centrepiece. And if left and not pruned in the fall, the flowers add some textural interest in a winter garden.
|On a stone fireplace mantle at my sister's cottage|
Another variety, Peegee Hydrangeas, have a cone shaped flower head. They look nice in a tall vase as well as cut short and clustered together.
|Peegees in my front hall|
I also love white hydrangeas. One of my most favourite bouquets featured pure white hydrangeas. A few years ago, we had an amazing party to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and my dear friend, Vicki made a bouquet for me using pink peonies ( my second favourite flower due to their gorgeous scent) and white hydrangeas. It was such a special surprise and I loved carrying a bouquet just like I did as a bride.
We are very lucky to have a climate that allows for these beautiful flowers to grow in our gardens. Thank you Mother Nature for Hydrangeas!