Friday, October 17, 2014

A Beautiful Harvest

It has been an abundant year for my 
Hydrangea bushes! 

Not wanting these beautiful blossoms to go to waste, 
I have been filling baskets, boxes, and every container I can find! 

I have also been making wreaths.

Come along with me and I will show you how
to harvest and preserve these beautiful flowers. 

I grow Nikko Blue Hydrangea. 
(Click on the link if you would like more info and to buy your own)

Normally these are bright blue, but this time of year
they have faded to lovely shades of green, tinged with rose. 

At this time of year,
(approx. the 3rd week of Sept. onward -
 or when the petals feel papery to touch) 
I can cut these lovely blossoms and they will stay 
perfectly formed without any water! 

Here you can see the contrast of colors, 
with some newer blossoms showing 
their glorious blue coloring. 

These blue blossoms would have
 to be preserved by letting them dry
 in a container with a bit of water. 
Just let the water evaporate over time 
and the blossoms will dry gradually. 

The older blossoms need no water. 

Cut the stems right above a leaf node. 

Nikko Blue sets bloom
                          on stems two years old and older.                       
If you want to trim back your Nikko Blue
further than the first or second leaf node, 
you will sacrifice next year's blossoms!

So be careful about that. 

I fill large baskets with these glorious blooms. 

My faithful companion, Champ. 

To fill a large, shallow basket, 
crumple newspaper in the bottom. 

Fill the perimeter first, then the middle. 
The blossoms with hold each other together. 

A bountiful harvest!

Let's go inside and see where they are placed....

My European laundry basket gets
 placed on the bedroom armoire. 

The green basket resides on the stair landing. 

This is the view from the kitchen.
Extra folding chairs line the hallway.  

A pool of late afternoon sunshine 
from the octagonal window
glows on the wall. 
I keep part of my collection of Posie Paintings here. 

I painted the blue cupboard years ago. 
I keep photos inside. 

This small area brings cheer 
to walking up and down stairs. 

To make the Hydrangea wreath, I chose 
approximately 12-18 small blossoms
and wired them to a coat hanger shaped into a circle,
then wrapped in floral tape,

It's easiest to tear 12" strips off the roll to do the wrapping. 

The tape allows the hydrangea stems to be wired on without slipping. 

You will need a roll of floral wire and cutters, too. 

Starting at the top, lay the first stem 
against the wrapped coat hanger
and wire in place, wrapping about 3 or 4 times.
 Keep the wire attached to the spool
as you go along. 

Simply lay the next blossom over this wrapped 
stem and wire that one in place. 

Continue around. 

To secure the end of the wire, 
Tie a little knot around the hanging hook by the base. 

So simple and easy! 

Hang your wreath by the hanging hook! 


Don't cut the remaining blossoms off your Nikko Blue, 
but allow them to remain until spring. 

They will turn tan and papery and you can harvest some
for Christmas wreaths! 

The remaining blossoms also afford some frost protection
to vulnerable buds. 

Trim the remaining blossoms
 when you see signs of growth in spring. 

I hope you will give Nikko Blue Hydrangea 
a place in your garden, too! 


Thank you , Dear Friends for your lovely comments on 
my recent trip to New England and the wedding. 
'Friendship is a word the very sight of which
in print makes the heart warm.'
-Augustine Birrell-

Linking with: Ivy and Elephant's- What's it Wednesday


  1. Hola Beatrice querida! que facil y lindo ese arreglo floral a la entrada de tu casa !y que hermosas se te dan las hortencias

  2. I am so impressed with your creativity, your arrangements are gorgeous and I love how you decorate your home. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

  3. so very pretty! you definitely have a bounty!

  4. Wow- What beautiful hydrangeas you have there. All I can grow are the white AnnaBelle's...that turn green. Even adding the PH does not give me colored blooms. Your wreath is really beautiful and so is your basket. I just harvested some of my own...wish I had done more before we got all this rain! ugh-

    Happy weekend to you- xoDiana

  5. These bouquets and the wreath are so beautiful. I don't have a NIkko Blue but I have an Endless Summer Blue which is just getting a good start this year. I dry my Annabelle Hydrangea in bouquets. Your stairway landing looks so pretty with the painted commode and your floral art. Enjoy the weekend.

  6. My favorite blooms without a doubt. Love your gorgeous wreath and will be pinning it. My sister-in-law is able to grow some beautiful hydrangeas, but they don't like my soil here. She cut me some a few weeks ago and they dried to perfection. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Karen,
    Your blue hydrangeas are so pretty. I never appreciated this flower until I saw them in my blog friend's homes. I really like the wreath and the baskets adorning your house. The Nikko Blue is lovely, and it kind of looks like purple in some of the pictures. I always enjoy seeing a glimpse of your home. You have many wonderful ideas.

    Have a peaceful weekend, Karen.


  8. Your hydrangeas are gorgeous, Karen! I just love the look of a basket full! I didn't get any blooms this year (they were cut back too far), but luckily my son let me cut all I wanted off his shrubs!

  9. Dear Beatrice

    A lovely post about hydranga! Very inspiring and beautifully photographed!
    Nice place so full of charm!


  10. Good morning, Karen.

    Our hydrangea gives blue, purple, pink, and blue-to-green blossoms. Sometimes simultaneously, sometimes it varies by year. The neatest thing. Our poor bush did not survive the Polar Vortex than swept down last winter. But! Imagine our surprise when it grew back all big and green this year. No flowers, of course, but I have great hope for next year. (I hope we don't get another Polar Vortex that kills it back again.)

    :) :) :) m & jb

  11. Wow, your hydangea arrangements are lovely.. I love the baskets.. Champ is a cutie.. Happy weekend!

  12. Beautiful baskets and wreath. I am not a gardener at all, but I have a couple of vases overflowing with dried hydrangea. So easy to dry; they keep their shapes and color beautifully. Thanks for the tip about leaving old blossoms on.

  13. Amei conhecer o seu blog, já fiquei por aqui!!!Achei maravilhoso!!!Visite-me:
    Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!


    Beijos Marie.

  14. Hi Karen, I LOVE hydrangeas and yours are gorgeous. My mom makes baskets of them too. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial about how to make them. Have a nice weekend.
    Julie xoxo

  15. Gorgeous post Karen, Loved the Brilliant tutorial, I have a large Hydrangea in my garden...I am going to try to make the wreath...Hugs May x x

  16. The blooms look so gorgeous in the baskets! You are fortunate to have such an abundance of them. Love your pretty landing, your home has such style!
    New follower,

  17. Hydrangeas are my favorite flower. I'm not sure they grow here in Florida...I've never seen any in the flower beds. But they are so beautiful and so many pretty shades of color. I love the wreath! Hugs, Diane

  18. This was so fascinating, Karen! I don't have any Hydrangeas, but now I wish I did :) I just love how you put them in the basket and the wreath is a welcoming sight on your door.

    Thank you, dear friend, for sharing with us. Hugs to you!

  19. Oh my friend,
    what a lovely and romantic post! I love Hydrageas and I love even more what you have done with yours! Your Garden and your house are absolutely adorable! This is your work of love!
    Have a happy happy sunday

  20. So pretty, and your coathanger wreath with the built in hanger is ingenious!! You are very clever and creative and the finished wreath is so lovely!! xx

  21. Dear Karen,
    your Hydrangea-harvest is georgeous!
    So beautiful! I love the idea with the coat hanger! Thank you for this! I guess, with this fabulous idea I perhaps could make such a wonderful wreath too :O)
    Have a lovely sunday,
    Love and hugs and blessings,
    Claudia XO

  22. What a lovely, lovely post. And all those wonderful photos of your beautiful hydrangea arrangements. How splendid to have such a harvest to be able to play like that and decorate your home.

    Wishing you a beautiful day....

  23. Beautiful blooms and thanks for your tips on how to preserve them! I have not as many as you do, but some, and they're my favorite flowers! Your display in the basket is very pretty!

  24. Your hydrangeas are very beautiful, our extremely cold winter did a number on mine and so we got very few blooms. It was a joy to see your abundant crop and the wonderful way you displayed them. I hope we have as a good luck next year with ours.

  25. Dear Karen,

    Your hydrangeas look beautiful, both in the basket and wreath! I like the way the colours of the flowers match the blue of the chest of drawers in your room. Very pretty!

    Have a lovely week!

    Madelief x

  26. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have some hydrangeas and was thinking of putting them together for a wreath but couldn't work out how. You're an angel for this tutorial! Take care xx

  27. Dear Beatrice
    Thank you very much
    All my love for you
    Your hydrangeas are beautiful!!!!!

  28. Such beautiful blooms, and I love how you decorate with them! I need to plant some hydrangeas :) I nipped back to read about your nieces wedding ... what wonderful photos of a lovely wedding. Everyone looked like they were having the best time together. Wendy x

  29. I am in total agreement with you; hydrangeas are one of my very favorite flowers as well….It's interesting my crop has not been as large as usual but I am really enjoying looking at your full baskets and wreaths….You have shown me a new way to make a wreath. Normally I just put the blooms onto a grapevine wreath….I like the way yours turned out….so pretty...

  30. Hi Karen! Your home is just beautiful as are your hydrangeas! I wish I had known about how far to cut them back sooner. I think I may have cut mine too far, but I hope I'm wrong. Thanks for the info and for the tutorial on making a wreath. Mine are too dry and brittle now to make one, but I'll remember this for next year. Karen

  31. WOW - Nikko is a gorgeous hydrangea Karen!
    I love the wreath and the basket arrangements too.
    I have eight Annabelle hydrangeas plus others but I just have to make room for a Nikko now too!
    I hope I will be able to find one here!
    Enjoy your week!
    Shane :) x

  32. Hi Karen, what a clever idea to preserve the beauty of hydrangeas. I have only one plant, its more than a couple of years old. Last year when we went on holiday it died back and after few times of watering it, it started to grow again. Have you ever tried adding aluminum sulphate in the water to change the colour of the flowers from pink to blue or add lime in the water to turn blue to pink? It's quite interesting. Hope you have a good week.
    Thank you for visiting and your lovemy message.


  33. Hi Karen! Once again your creativity is off the charts. I love that wreath :-) have a beautiful Monday!

  34. Oh my Karen,I'm in hydrangea envy! Your crop is so beautiful and your wreath is so lovely. You certainly have found the best way to enhance their beauty.

  35. I think I have the same hydrangea in front of my kitchen. It was there when I bought the Cottage and it turns from blue to green with pink spots in fall. I love your wreath. I keep dried hydrangeas, but I've never made them into a wreath... You're giving me ideas!

  36. I still have the hydrangea wreath you made me in 2000! It hangs on my armoire in the bedroom. XO


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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