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Flowers 101: Hydrangeas

I'm a huge fan of Barefoot Contessa and this week I thought I would feature her favorite flower - one she grows in her garden and uses frequently in her simple centerpieces and awesome arrangements - hydrangeas. There are over 70 species of hydrangeas and the flowers bloom from early spring to late autumn. They grow on shrubs in light shade/filtered sun and in moist soil. Hydrangeas have rounded heads and large, coarse, glossy dark green leaves. Similar to broccoli, the flowers grow in bunches at the end of stems. The majority of hydrangea species grow white although some bloom in blue, red, pink, or purple with the color depending on the acidity level (pH level) of the soil. Blue hydrangeas get their color from the aluminum in the soil. If growing hydrangeas remember that they need lots of water and a large hole approximately two feet across and one foot deep. Hydrangeas name is derived from two Greek words: meaning vessel and water due to the fact that their seed-pods resemble that of a water vessel. In bouquets, hydrangeas combine well with lilacs and they are great for drying.

Join The Conversation
SU3 SU3 10 years
The blue ones are beautiful! Paired with roses are a great idea!
Sweet-Adeline Sweet-Adeline 10 years
Dried hydrangeas are also very beautiful all year long. I have two of the blue plants in my garden, but the heavy cold and frost at Easter truly nipped them, so I am buying 2 more.
julieulie julieulie 10 years
I love hydrangeas, but I'm confused about the pH of soil determining color -- we have two bushes in the backyard, planted immediately next to each other, and every year one is a beautiful blue (my favorite) and the other bush is always a dark pink color. They're planted practically on top of each other, so wouldn't the soil pH be the same? I think I am going to use blue hydrangeas for my bridesmaids' bouquets.
chancleta chancleta 10 years
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing! Have you seen the biography on Barefoot Contessa yet? I loved it. Can't believe how far she's come from that little shop :)
LuciLu LuciLu 10 years
I love Barefoot Contessa! AND Hydrangeas are gorgeous.
kungfubunni kungfubunni 10 years
my wedding bouquet is also going to feature creme hydrangeas! it's going to be so pretty!
haze1nut haze1nut 10 years
i don't really like the dark colored ones, the light pinks and creams are pretty though, you can use them like 'bases' and stick roses in to them all around so that the rose heads are jutting out of the hyrdrangeas. i'll show a pic later
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
How gorgeous!
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