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This variety of mophead hydrangea is named ‘Forever Pink’.

“Forever Yours” (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Forever Pink’) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/11, 1/100s, -0.7EV, ISO 640

Um, really? In my garden, a more apt name would be ‘Never Pink’!

Our landscape is extremely acidic (lots of tall pines) and no matter how much I amend the soil with lime, the closest I have come is purple-y rose or mauve. That’s okay. My garden certainly isn’t lacking for pink!

The compact shrub is covered with mounds of variegated blossoms ranging in hues of cream, lavender and soft blue. The cut blooms make lovely arrangements and with so many on one plant, a few are never missed!

Say, have you ever cut hydrangea stems and put them right into a vase of water only to have them wilt after a few hours? Well, here are a two proven techniques to prevent that:

(1). The Hot Water Method

  • Plan to cut hydrangea blooms in the morning while the weather is cool.
  • Take water to the garden in a container and drop stems into water immediately after cutting (important).
  • Indoors, boil water and pour it into a cup or any container.
  • Cut the hydrangea stems to the desired length.
  • Stand the stems of the hydrangeas in the hot water for 30 seconds.
  • Immediately put into room temperature water and then arrange.

 

(2). The Alum Dip Method

The alum used in this method can usually be found in the spice section of the grocery store. Occasionally, it is found with the pickling supplies.

  • Plan to cut hydrangea blooms in the morning while the weather is cool.
  • Take water to the garden in a container and drop stems into water immediately after cutting (important).
  • As you arrange the flowers, recut the stems and dip the bottom 1/2 inch into powdered alum.
  • Arrange as usual in room temperature water.

When I can’t find inspiration in my own landscape, all I have to do is step next door! My neighbor Nancy has a wonderful garden and, in addition to being a dear, dear friend, over the years she has provided a wealth of gardening tips and how-to’s. Thanks, Nancy! 🙂

Although situated right next to each other, our gardens can sometimes seem worlds apart (her landscape receives so many more hours of sun and therefore, tends to be a bit ahead). For example, both our gardens contain ‘Endless Summer’, a variety of Mophead Hydrangea, but, while mine are still in the beginning bud stage, hers are already putting forth their sumptuous blooms.

“Harlow” (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’), Old Hollywood Glamour Series, Nikon D300, 70mm, F/2.8, 1/1600s, -0.3EV, ISO 200, SB800 w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.7EV

There is something so timeless about hydrangea blossoms and one in particular just knocked me out! I adore the sweetheart shape painted in delicate hues of cream and blue with the slightest touch of purple.

Just screams to be part of the Old Hollywood Glamour series, doesn’t it? 

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