One of the things I love about gardening is the conveyor belt of blooms – as one flower dies back, another one quick to blossoms to replace it. One of the things that has started to bloom away in my garden are my hydrangeas. It’s been a good year for them so far, due to all the rain we’ve had, so they are very happy flowering at the back of my border.
I’ve got Hydrangea Annabelle, which is a white flower that turns pink in the Autumn. However, there’s a huge variety out there in a range of shapes, from large balls to cones, so it’s worthwhile taking the time to have a look at which one you would like to add.
Where to plant.
- Hydrangeas do best in moist, well-drained soil and dappled shade – so basically not too sunny and not too shady. Aren’t they fussy?!
- The good news is that they will thrive in most soil types, including alkaline and acidic soil. However, the pH of the soil will change the colour of the flowers of some varieties. Some plants that usually offer pink flowers will appear blue if the soil is acidic. It’s worth checking this, especially if you are looking for a specific colour.
When to plant.
- Spring or autumn when the soil is warm and moist. You can plant them now but it’s essential that you ensure the soil doesn’t dry out. Adding a layer of mulch helps.
Looking after your hydrangeas – In your garden.
- Water, water, and water. Think – ‘Hydra’ is to hydrate and they thrive in moist soil. They also tend to wilt in hot weather, so keep them well watered during hot spells in summer. Refreshing the layer of mulch you added when planting continues to help lock that moisture in. It’s best to do it in the Spring.
Looking after your hydrangeas – In a flower arrangement.
- Again, it’s all about keeping them hydrated. Make sure you keep them topped up with clean, fresh water.
- Before arranging, make sure you cut the stems at a 45-degree angle and then another cut up the length of the stem. This will ensure the maximum amount of water is getting to the flower head.
- You can also plunge the hydrangea head in water to help revive them or spritz them with water as they will take water in through the petals.
Drying your cut hydrangeas
- One of the best things about cut flower hydrangeas is the fact that you can dry them My tried and tested method is to keep them in a cool room, away from direct sunlight, in about 5 cm of water. All you then need to do is wait for them to dry naturally. Once the flower head feels dry to touch, then remove from the water, cut the stem and voila, you have hydrangeas that just keep giving and giving.