Hello Hydrangeas!

     I can’t get enough of hydrangeas.  These prolific bushes are really hitting their peak in the West End.  I am lusting after the blue and purple blossoms that are thriving in my friends’ and neighbors’ yards. 

K's garden

      Unfortunately, my hydrangeas don’t live up to their standards.  The deer tend to desiccate them in the late winter after the buds have begun to set.  I celebrate every blossom that they haven’t destroyed, but mine never look that good.

    A couple of weeks ago, I sprayed on the Miracle-Gro that is supposed to turn hydrangeas blue, but it was too little too late.  In order to be blue, hydrangeas need an alkaline soil with a low pH so they can access the aluminum in the soil.  My soil needs a longer term treatment than the Miracle-Gro spray, so it will be at least another year with little pinks and whites.

   Though I don’t have any of my own to use, purple and blue hydrangeas will be the centerpiece of our graduation celebration on Thursday.  The complementary combination of two of the colors of my daughter’s present and future schools should be a pretty way to tie the party together without the obvious graduation party decorations.  My friend A has ordered several dozen hydrangeas from her wholesale florist for the event, which I will supplement with some from K’s garden.

     To keep the hydrangeas looking great even in oasis, I will be trying the alum method that M suggested at Flower Camp.  As part of conditioning them the day before arranging, just dip the bottom 1/2″ of each stem in alum right after you cut it, then immediately place it in water.  You can get alum in the spice section at the grocery store.  This method doesn’t sound too hard.  I’ll let you know how it works.

     Over the weekend, Heather Clawson of the highly regarded and oft-quoted blog, Habitually Chic, posted a montage of stunning hydrangea photos published by some top designers and design magazines.  Click here to view these drool-worthy pictures.  They really celebrate summer and have gotten me excited to put together the flower arrangements for the graduation party.

     Hope your week is filled with stunning moments!


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