All the talk in this series this year has focused on vegetable gardens. Our gardens have more than just vegetables in them though, as I’m sure do yours. One of the biggest features in our yard is our hydrangeas. With many different types, including some heirloom and climbing varieties, they are full of show and heavy with blooms all summer long.
The blooms are just now beginning to burst so they are at the perfect stage for picking. Did you know that if you pick them when the stamen has burst, they will dry perfectly? They won’t wither at all, they will stay just as you picked them, but will fade to a beautiful desaturated version of their summer glory. Something to brighten up your home all fall and winter long.
A few other interesting tid bits about this gorgeous plant—they bloom on third year wood, so when pruning simply cut off the stalks with dried blooms on them after the hard winter, and the plant will stay a well behaved size. If you want to let them grow unchecked, just pull off the spent blossoms after the winter and all the stalks will leaf out. Many varieties can change bloom color by changing the pH of the soil. Experiment with yours to get a wide range from deep blue to brilliant pink.