I love Gardenia and Hydrangea flowers equally and for different reasons, because of my love of these beautiful flowers I have both of them growing in my front garden bed along with a Queen Jasmine climber. I love the Queen Jasmine too because both of them have intoxicating scents and the Gardenia reminds me of living in Hawai'i were I always had Gardenia's floating in my water bowls or stuck behind my ear.
This tiny little flower's smell is so strong...and mighty, the Queen Jasmine. I planted it in the front bed too along with the Gardenia so while I was sitting out there I could enjoy their frangrance, who wouldn't like sipping a glass of wine and having that sweet scent waft by. That's why they are my favorite flowers along with my beloved Hydrangeas. I love the Hydrangeas just because they remind me of the summer and living in a cottage by the sea. I'm especially fond of the Blue Hydrangeas.
As you can see my cottage has a coastal vibe going on...the Hydrangeas are nestled between the Queen Jasmine and the Gardenia plant. Last year I completely cut back the Jasmine and it went into shock, it was going crazy all over the wrought iron post and I went a little too far cutting it back. I used the "comeback feed" my local nursery told me about and it's starting to recover, thank goodness. Since this picture was taken I've done some deadheading I don't have as many blooms but they look great inside in some flower arrangements. I have a few tips that I've learned to keep the Hydrangeas from wilting in your flower arrangements.
I then trim some of the leaves off and cut the stalk at an angle to help it hydrate. Hydra means water and this flower needs lots and lots of water. I know not the most practical in drought ridden California but I only have them in this flower bed and in one terracotta pot in the back patio, yes I'm justifying my LOVE of Hydrangeas.
I then dip them in Alum which you can get at any market in the spice section, I'm not sure why this works but it does.
I put them in any vessel that will fit my mood for that day. As you can see these blooms are a soft pink when I took this picture last week but in the above picture they are pale blue. You may or may not know that the acidity of the soil affects Hydrangeas depending on the type of Hydrangea plant it is. Better, Homes, and Gardens had a great article on the different types in the 2016 August issue. The ones that are planted towards the back of my bed are Endless Summer or Nikko Blue Hydrangeas and the big one in the middle I can't remember but I think I got it from Trader Joe's and it was in a pot for along time before I planted in the garden. It took awhile for it to get going so if you plant yours the root system has to get established so be patient.
So to get a longer lasting Hydrangeas in your flower arrangement follow my tips above. I repeat the procedure every other or 3rd day with some fresh water. Ok..one more thing about the Acidity of soil in regard to turning the colors of your Hydrangeas Blue or Pink, basically add Lime if you want them pink if you want them blue add Aluminum. And if you want them a purple a mixture of lime and aluminum.
I've heard adding pennies to your soil will do the trick as well as fish heads or steel wool to turn them blue. I think the penny ball idea would be a great idea to try I've always got a ton of pennies around, as my husband drops his excess change in his coin basket daily.
Or the easy way and buy one of these "add ins" to the soil, I have the one on the right and it works great! If you have a white hydrangeas such as the Annabelle they won't change colors. Pretty soon fall will be here and my blooms will be less frequent and it will be time for me to prune. Here is a pruning guide I pinned in my "Diggin in the Dirt" board.
I got to thinking about this post when I started to read my Better, Homes and Gardens August issue a few weeks back and was so excited to see all the Hydrangeas on the front cover, you can go here to learn a lot more about this very popular flower. As I was composing this post another blogger, Danielle at Silver Pennies who lives on the opposite coast, and I'm so envious of her beautiful home...a shingled Cape Cod and she lives on the Cape to boot...wrote a post about her hydrangeas in her garden...I guess great minds think alike, wink wink.
My love of Hydrangeas is very apparent as evidenced by the many pictures I post on Instagram and on my blog .
Hope you can use these tips on Hydrangeas, one of my favorite flowers along with my Gardenias.
One of my favorite Perfumes is Kai, with it's Gardenia scent. Have you heard of it before? Heaven pure heaven in a bottle.
Anyhow, what are your favorite flowers and do you have any tips to share?