Blooming hydrangea shrubs, with their large blooms spilling over my flower beds, are the climax of my summer garden.  These old-fashion flowers delight the hearts of young and old alike.  I planted six hydrangea bushes three years ago and already, have plenty of blooms for cutting. Who can resist filling a stoneware pitcher or milk glass vase with a few gorgeous stems that require no arranging or designing expertise...I had to share my gleanings with you.


Clip hydrangea stems in the cool morning or evening. (One bloom per stem)

Remove all the leaves from the stem except those near the bloom.

Place stems in water as soon as possible. You may want to take a bucket of water to the garden.

If a bloom shrivels, recut the stem and dip it in hot water for 30 seconds then place back in the vase of water.

In a few weeks, around Labor Day, I'll cut more blooms to hang and dry for winter bouquets.  If hydrangeas are clipped too soon, the flowers shrivel instead of keeping their natural shape. If clipped too late, the blooms develop  brown spots and become too fragile.  Stay tuned for my tips about preserving these maidens of summer.

Freshly picked flowers make ordinary days better,