3.19.2009

My Favorite Flower: The Hydrangea!



(pic. #1)

(pic. #2)

Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul.  
~The Koran


My favorite flower is the hydrangea, I like it so much I used hydrangeas for the table centerpieces when I was married. They were so beautiful and can you believe I did not save one for myself!

Granted, it would be dead by now, but I could have dried the flowers and made a wreath out of them.

Well, I decided to have a miniature replica made of my centerpiece that I can have for years to come. Let me tell you, it is GORGEOUS!!!

It was made by: CCbyCherrie, all out of clay! (see pic.#1)

The entire eastern side of my house is filled with hydrangeas! As you drive up my street they are the first thing you notice about my house - it is so beautiful! (pic. #2)


ABOUT:

The most common variety is the French Hydrangea. It is easy to grow in rich, moist soil, it has a large, mounding shape and can grow as tall as four feet in a year. The large foliage is dark green, but being deciduous, it is gone in the winter. Blooms appear on previous year's growth, so prune only the stems that produced this year's flowers; otherwise you will not have blooms next year.

The color of the bloom can be adjusted. White blooms will always be white, while the blue or pink can be controlled by the acidity of the soil (the more acidic, the brighter the flower). Add agricultural lime in the fall for a deeper pink color or aluminum sulfate for darker blues.

The Oakleaf Hydrangea is larger than the French, its flowers are cone-shaped and white, and the foliage turns a beautiful maroon in the fall. The unique tree form of hydrangeas called, Peegee, grows up to 15 feet and blooms late in the season. 

Your local nursery can help you choose a hydrangea suitable for your location.

USES:
Hydrangeas can be used for many things. They can add color to a garden or other landscape projects, their shape makes for great arrangements or bouquets and wreaths made out of them are very striking. 

HOW TO PICK HYDRANGEAS FOR A WREATH:
If you have hydrangeas in your garden, you can make beautiful dried flowers from them. The secret to perfectly dried hydrangeas is choosing the right time to harvest them. Although it is tempting to cut the hydrangea blossoms for drying at the height of their color, this does not work very well. Fresh, recently opened blooms rarely dry well in the open air. Hydrangeas do best when allowed to dry a bit on the plant before being picked. Experiment with harvesting from August through October. Cut the blooms, strip off the leaves, do not add water or any liquid and arrange them in a vase. As they continue to lose moisture, they will retain their color and shape for a long time. Eventually, the green tones will fade to an antique color and finally turn brown. But by then, you will have produced several more crops of hydrangeas to use as replacements. It is not necessary to hang hydrangeas upside down to dry unless the stems are very thin and weak.

One of my favorite internet/mail order companies for flowers is:
White Flower Farm. They are approved by Better Home and Gardens, are knowledgeable, have a very large selection of bulbs, flowers, plants and vegetables and are pretty reasonably priced. I usually order their annual combinations for my planters.

In honor of SPRING and HYDRANGEAS, one lucky reader will win a hair clip from CCbyCherrie. (pic. #3)[hair clip may be different than the ones shown in the picture]

Just visit White Flower Farm, come back here and in the comment area tell me what your favorite flower is and why (you will get an entry), if you are a follower, tell me so in another comment (you will get an entry) - for a max of two (2) entries! The giveaway will end at Midnight (EST), on Wednesday March 25, 2009. 

Thanks for joining me! Have a wonderful day!!

If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.  
~Audra Foveo

22 comments:

Beth said...

My favorites are the Lily and the Tulip. The Lilian Vivaldi on that site is beautifully soft looking.

Beth said...

And yes I am a follower.

Amanda said...

I just started following. :) I love dahlias the most, probably because they look like daisies, and I also love daisies, but they're a little more special and unique. I love the multiple petals.... I also love those clay flowers! How special!

Dlsarmywife said...

http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/381488-product.html
Mmmm flowers, another of my passio ns! (If only I had the space to really garden lol) Stargazer lilies are my absolute favorites! I just adore the heady fragrance and the unique shape and coloring made them my choice for wedding flowers when hubby and I married 10 years ago.

Dlsarmywife said...

Yes I am a follower too, and now I'm off to investigate those gorgeous clay flowers!

Diana said...

My all time favorites are the wedgewood blue lilacs and what we call the summer lilac. It smells so wonderful and attracts so many beautiful butterflies.

Dee said...

My favorites are tulips. They come in so many colors, shapes and sizes and they welcome Spring like no other flower.

Melissa said...

I love lilacs... just the smell of them brings me back to many happy childhood memories

JJ said...

I love the Echinops-Euphorbia. What an interesting flower...

Whimsical Creations said...

Love daisies! They have made me smile for years. They were my wedding flower 10 years ago.

=) melanie
http://melaniescrafts.blogspot.com
melanieadey at hotmail dot com

Whimsical Creations said...

following your blog

=) melanie
http://melaniescrafts.blogspot.com
melanieadey at hotmail dot com

Elsie said...

My favorite flower is the tulip, it's bulbs have an interesting history, and it is a sure sign of Spring here in Ohio...I grow many different kinds of tulips as a border all around the perimeter of my backyard...hundreds of blooms, and I make bouquets and share them with neighbors, friends, my dentist's office, etc.

Love the hairclips, they are so pretty!

pumpkinlady430@yahoo.com

Beansprout said...

I love Dahlias, the are so large and cheerful looking!
Jessy
jessy.spencer AT gmail DOT com

Beansprout said...

I am also following your blog =)
Jessy
jessy.spencer AT gmail DOT com

Vivien said...

My favorite flower is the Gerber Daisy because they are so bright and cheery!

puffpastryshop(at)gmail(dot)com
puffpastry.etsy.com

Bella said...

I must say... the Veronica Viola is sophisticated and lovely!!!

janil said...

I love liliums!!!

Thanks!

cal_rubies at yahoo dot es

Danetta said...

I love lilies. They are all so beautiful. My favorite flower at White Flower Farm is the Lilium lancifolium Flore Pleno (aka Double Flowered Tiger Lily): http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/381000-product.html
It is soooo pretty. I love the bright colors and exotic look of it.

talonsmom731 at gmail dot com

Art You Dream About said...

My favorite is the Echinops ritro ruthenicus, because it's purple and looks so unique!

rebeccastar at gmail dot com

Shanda said...

My favorite is the Orchid! I love all the varieties and colors they come in. I used orchids for my wedding.
shan_da(at)hotmail(dot)com

trisha too said...

i LOVE dahlias, but where we are, you have to dig them up in the fall and replant in the spring.

alas, i am not diligent enough for such things!

my grandpa-in-law, however, won numerous blue ribbons in the Missouri state fair for his fabulous dahlias!
:)
sandtneal at mfire dotty com

Vinyl Rocks My World said...

Oooh.. just discovered Pulmonaria-Rudbeckias on the website. Very cool looking flowers! I've always loved sunflowers and daisies, but these are fun pink/purple flowers that look tie-dyed.. right on! :)