Notes from Nature: Incorporating Hydrangeas into Everyday Floral Décor

Representing gratitude, grace and beauty, hydrangeas begin to decorate front yards, gardens and dinner tables as they bloom in the spring and summer months. Ranging from bright white to pinks, purples, greens and deep blues, hydrangeas are one of springtime’s most special gifts, and grow abundantly throughout Kiawah River.  

The hydrangea plant is considered a shrub, growing in clusters of differing colors and bright green leaves on one brimming bush. The differing color of each hydrangea plant is determined by pH levels in the soil. A low pH level in the soil yields the deep blue color, while a high pH level in the soil produces pink and purple shades. When planning a spring garden party or summer supper with friends, hydrangeas make for an easy centerpiece that is sure to stand out.  

To help kickstart your hydrangea décor, we’ve listed a few tips on how to incorporate the spring and summer flower into everyday living spaces. 

For displaying hydrangeas in a tall glass bottle or vase, make sure to cut the stems at least 8 inches long so they fit in a tall vase and at an angle to help prolong their life. Since hydrangeas are top heavy, use a vase with a wide neck to support the bouquet. Place the vases on end tables, nightstands or dining room tables to add a pop of color during the summer months.  

Another way to display the florals is in a basket or set along your dining room table as a centerpiece. For these arrangements, you can simply cut the flowers and arrange them together in bunches. Be sure to include the hydrangea leaves to help the centerpieces look full-bodied. While the flowers might not last as long out of water, the bright hues are guaranteed to lighten up any room.  

A common ingredient used for pickling—alum—can be found in the spice aisle at the grocery store and is helpful for preventing hydrangeas from wilting. Before placing your freshly cut flowers in a vase, re-cut the stem about an inch above the previous cut and coat the bottom of the stem in alum before placing in the water. Coating the stem in alum keeps the bottom of the stem open and allows the flower to take in as much water as possible.  

Whether you gather hydrangeas from your front yard, grocery store or local farmers market, the staple shrub makes the perfect addition to Southern tablespaces during the warmer seasons. Whichever way you choose to incorporate these blooms into your everyday décor, let them be a reminder to practice gratitude, give grace to others and marvel at their beauty.