Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Between the heat and the very important decision we have to make about Man-Cub's schooling in the Fall, I am deflated, flat and wilted.

So, I am posting about something completely unrelated and completely fluffy.

Flowers! Yippee!

See, we have these hydrangeas.  They're among my most favorite of flowers and the very first thing we did to the house, landscaping-wise, when we bought it was to plant this bush near the side entrance (the only one we use).

Hydrangeas are very tolerant of part-shade and are rather low-maintenance and seem to really, really like our soil.  As you can see, this bush has burst into bloom with a mighty vengeance this year!

All of the lower branches were so heavy laden, they were lying on the ground. That's what I was trying to capture in this photo, but I don't think I got what I was going for.  And I don't think you can see from any of these photos just how wilted and sad the blooms were starting to look.  It seemed to me that if I wanted to take advantage of my bounty and get some dried hydrangeas from my garden to display all over the place, I needed to act fast.

So I grabbed a basket (my smallest laundry basket, usually reserved for ironing) and my kitchen shears and began snipping away.  And even confining myself only to the best-looking blooms, I filled it to overflowing!

I then turned my attention to the less stupendous but still well-bloomed pink hydrangeas in the flower bed along the side of the house that really feels like the front.  The Viking loves that I am so fond of a shrub that is so easy to maintain so he gets me new ones whenever he can.  I think we have five or six now.  I love that man.

But, oh, these poor, pink dears are looking a mite peaked, no?  They looked rather worse than their neighboring blues, but I snipped away.

And my basket runneth over!  I wanted to reach deep down in there, grab armfuls of blooms and bury my face in them.  But I've seen how very buggy hydrangea stems and leaves are so another romantic fantasy was put on hold yet again.

And lest ye think I mercilessly hacked the shrubs to bits, leaving decimated skeletons to wilt in shame the rest of the Summer, behold how I left them!  The blues...

And the pinks...

See?  You'd never know I was there, would you?

I left this basket sitting on the dining table for only a few hours, though part of me just wanted to leave it there forever.  I would love a basket, though maybe a shorter one that wouldn't obstruct views of your dining companions at dinner, overflowing with dried hydrangeas on the dining table.  But the purpose of this little forage into the shrubberies was to dry the flowers for more prolonged use.  So I dug out all my vases, pitchers, jars and anything else that could hold flowers, filled 'em all up, and set them out on the table to dry!

It was pretty odd.  Redheaded Snippet stopped dead upon entering the dining room right after I'd finished and asked, "What's with the shrine?"

Now, I didn't get a good "group" shot and I must warn you that most of these photos are of terrible quality (apparently I am quite incapable of holding still while pushing buttons), but I think you'll get the general idea.


Oh dear.

How sad.

How very sad.

How violently blue...and sad.

These kind of made it...

As did these, a bunch I cut weeks ago and (obviously) put into water.

So, suffice it to say that The Great Hydrangea Harvest was somewhat disappointing.  I managed to salvage one good vase full of them, which seems quite a poor percentage, but I'm thankful for what I got.  And now the blooms left on the bushes are wilting beyond belief along with those in gardens all over town (except for those belonging to my friend/neighbor whose blooms are luxuriously gorgeous and lush--I must learn her secrets)!

So much for my dreams of a year-round bower of dried hydrangeas.  Maybe next year...

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