Episode #411 – Hooray for Hydrangeas
Today’s Life In Bloom is all about the very popular Hydrangea. We’ll visit a flower farm that grows Hydrangea, arrange with Garden Hydrangea, as well as create simple and elaborate bouquets – there’s even a Hydrangea Cocktail! Cheers!
“Flowers don’t tell, they show.” – Stephanie Skeem
These days Hydrangea for landscapes are available in many shapes and sizes and bring much enjoyment – as long as you devote a bit of attention to their placement and care. You can choose plants to your liking based not only on appearance but also level of maintenance. A local garden center is a great resource to help guide you with advice based on your location. It’s a pleasure to watch the plants grow and bloom – and I am happy to make use of the flowers when in season in the garden. When Hydrangea are out of season where I live, I still enjoy Hydrangea varieties from various flower sellers.
I love this simple technique- and it makes flower arranging easier- that’s the best kind of tip or trick to share. Hydrangea are also very popular flowers- I would rank it as one of the top 5 flowers- in regards to people’s favorites! So starting your arrangement with a hydrangea and using it as a structure- to create your bouquet can be very helpful. I talk a lot about starting your arrangements with a structure- whether that is a branch or curly willow, a grid work of tape, or even a structure of foliage… and thus- a Hydrangea can work the same!
By Placing the Hydrangea – cut short- at the neck fo the vase- and then slipping other flowers through the large massive collection of florets, blossoms (or technically inflorescence) you can easily use the structure of the hydrangea to hold your others flowers in place. I show this tip – step by step in this fun flower lesson segment- it’s yet another reason to shout- “Hooray for Hydrangea”.
A Visit to Pajarosa
Join me as I visit one the premiere Hydrangea Growers in California… California Pajarosa. I tour the facility with my friend Alan Mitchell- the founder of California Pajarosa- and we learn a little more about the process they use to cultivate roses- and other flowers on the farm. Then we get to tour the Hydrangeas- and also I have an opportunity to create a beautiful bouquet that features Yves Paiget Roses, Hydrangeas and other flowers grown right here on this California Flower Farm! Enjoy!
Hydrangeas for Special Events
Obviously Hydrangea are incredibly popular for Weddings and Special events- and you can turn just about any location into a beautiful setting with a few tips and tricks- I share in this segment – on decorating with Hydrangea. I’m using the Classic White Hydrangea from my friend Jaime Ruiz at GroFlowers- and using these hydration solutions- (Hydrangeas love water- and they can wilt quickly without a water supply)… on my deck in the garden- using Oasis Floral Products – Raquettes™ – I’m able to decorate ahead of time- and sit back and enjoy the event- with the worry of the hydrangeas wilting. Using Chrysal Professional Glory- the Best Anti-Transpirant for Hydrangeas- I add even more assurance of success to my Hydrangea Decoration… Yet another reason to shout- “Hooray for Hydrangeas” for Weddings and Special events!
Arranging with Garden Hydrangea Blooms
J gives tips on arranging Hydrangeas with his Flower friend and Guest Trina Weller. Trina was a Zoo School Classmate of Kelly’s and that made for a quick connection with J and Trina- especially when it comes to Hydrangea. Trina’s Childhood Home- (her Mother’s House) is still in Grand Rapids- and the Hydrangeas still bloom- and her Mom- enjoyed creating arrangements with them- to place around the house. J helps Trina improve her arranging skills- and shares some his favorite tips for arranging the garden Favorites!
Many people have gorgeous Hydrangea blooms in their gardens, but are apprehensive to cut the blooms for flower arranging or just are not sure HOW to arrange with them – given that most blooms are on the larger side. The tips in this segment of “Life in Bloom” will give you confidence and help you feel more comfortable arranging the Hydrangeas from your garden!
Featured Flower: PeeGee Hydrangea
- PeeGee Hydrangea, formally known as hydrangea paniculata is a vigorous shrub or small tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and 8 feet wide
- Pee Gee Hydrangea plants bears clusters of white flowers in summer
- Blooms fade to shades of rose or green before turning beige in winter
- The weight of the flowers may cause the stems to arch downward
- PeeGee Hydrangea plants need well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade
- PeeGee Hydrangeas provide showy, late summer bloom when few others are in flower
- PeeGee Hydrangea plants are one of the most cold hardy species of Hydrangea
- Blooms can be dried and may last up to a year
Trina Weller- joins J in the Garden for a Hydrangea Cocktail… who knew there was a cocktail that was named for this incredible Flower
The Recipe for the Hydrangea Cocktail has an Apertif as one of the ingredients which is kind of the twist – it’s what makes it a little bit different. This aperitif is based on an infusion of 20 selected roots and herbs highlighting two types of rhubarb root, honeysuckles, rose petals and vanilla.
Handful of fresh cranberries
4-5 sprigs mint, to taste
Muddle Mint and Cranberries in a cocktail shaker- and add ice…
Add the following:
1 ½ ounces 888 Cranberry Vodka
½ ounce Don Ciccio Donna Rosa aperitivi
1/2 ounce lime juice
Shake and strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a Hydrangea Inflorescence (be sure to use an organic bloom from the Garden)
Hydrangea – Rose – Manzanita Arrangement
I was inspired by my flower friends- the Florists at Walt Disney World- who created a similar arrangement – to this- for the lobby of the Grand Floridian Hotel- while I can’t talk about Disney World- and the Grand Floridian on the show- Now- you have the back story behind this wonderful bouquet. When I was giving a presentation to the floral department- about NEW Flowers and Trends- I was able to visit the Grand Floridian on the afternoon – where they create these bouquets on site… and seeing how they go together and the wonderful result- inspired me to share it on a smaller scale- it’s a fun way to incorporate Roses, and Manzanita Branches- with gorgeous Heirloom Hydrangeas- Hooray!!!
I hope this episode has you saying Hooray for Hydrangeas! Whether you purchase individual flowers or harvest from the garden, I encourage you to enjoy these over-size blooms. Even just one Hydrangea bloom in a vase is sure to bring a smile. For Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.