I grew up in the desert. And as well as my family could grow certain perennials there, hydrangeas were not one of them.
Hydrangeas require a TON of water, (notice the Latin root "hydra" in its name), and they like a lot of sunlight. But they don't like temperatures over 85 degrees. Which unfortunately for my childhood, was every day of summer.
When I moved to the Pacific Northwest the first thing that stood out to me were the large hydrangea bushes that flourish in this climate. Hydrangeas are one of the few flowers that bloom in a natural shade of blue, and it's a very vibrant blue too! It pops out at you from household gardens as you drive by, so unique a color to the natural environment.
They are native to both North and South America, as well as South and East Asia. It didn't make its way to Europe until the 18th century, where, no surprise, it quickly gained popularity.
A collage of small four-petalled blooms mound together to create a lacey cloud of color on a thick woody stem, this flower comes in a large assortment of colors. Pinks, purples, green, blues, and white. And as they grow on the bush, still healthy and full of life, they begin to change color, bringing in an antique-y green which I love to use in arrangements as well.
They're popular in floral arrangements as they create a nice backdrop that covers the mechanics of the arrangement while also providing that lace-like texture to set off smooth or ruffley flowers against it. For a selection of pictures that use hydrangeas in flower arrangements, check out my Featured Fiori post here.
Hydrangea season is almost over, so be sure to go out and get yourself a nice bunch to enjoy while they're still around!