Clouds of Beauty: Arranging Hydrangeas

July 15, 2014

By Karin Lidbeck Brent

Have you noticed? Suddenly hydrangeas are everywhere—giant blooms of blue, white, purple, pink, and green. I never get tired of these blooming bushes that make flower arranging so easy and impressive.

hydrangea bouquet

Photo by Michael Partenio

From July through October the hydrangeas will continue blooming.You do not need any knowledge of flower arranging to make hydrangeas look amazing. Cluster them in a mass and they will simply do the work for you. An important tip for flower arranging is to cut hydrangeas early in the morning or in the evening to maintain a longer bloom. Slice the woody stem at the bottom vertically exposing the fiber in the center of the stem where the plant absorbs its water.

cut hydrangea

Photo by Karin Lidbeck Brent

I placed a few tall branches of Pee Gee hydrangea in a hefty vase on this photo shoot letting them flop to one side. Let the branches do their own thing so they feel as natural as they would in the garden. I loved the way these tall stalks feel as if they are reaching out to the sunny window. The Pee Gee hydrangea is white early in the season and turn to green and dark pink by the fall.

hydrangea bouquet

Photo by Tria Giovan

Blue hydrangeas are easily the most popular but there are the hydrangeas in shades of pink, purple, and magenta that are equally impressive.

I created this arrangement with cuttings of pink Endless Summer, harlequin, and amethyst hydrangeas mixed with garden cuttings of purple butterfly bush, balloon flower, and asters.

Photo by Matthew Benson

Lacecap hydrangea is a different variety that has a flat lacey bloom that feels very graceful and delicate. Here two varieties of lacecaps are mixed with a dusty rose hydrangea called Frillebet.

hydrangea bouquet

Photo by Matthew Benson

The white hydrangeas are my favorite and there are quite a few varieties to choose from. This arrangement combines the white Annabelle hydrangea. Limelight and Pee Gee. To create this arrangement I mixed in hosta leaves, white coneflower and yellow Rocket Ligularia, a direct inspiration from the July garden.

hydrangea bouquet

Photo by Matthew Benson

Proven Winners’ Incrediball hydrangea mixed with pears makes a stunning centerpiece. To make an arrangement like this choose a low vessel, line the vessel with aluminum foil and fill the entire vessel with wet floral foam. Stand a candle hurricane in the center and surround with fresh cut blooms and pears.

hydrangea bouquet

Photo by Jim Westphalen

On a photo shoot in Hingham, Massachusetts photographer Michael Partenio caught this dreamy seaside garden where the hydrangeas seem to have absorbed the color of its surroundings with a soft grey purple hue.

seaside hydrangea garden

Photo by Michael Partenio