Ever since my mom started Designs by Ginny, I’ve learned so much about flowers. Granted, I kind of already knew a lot about them growing up with Ginny’s Greenhouse, Plants & Produce, her landscaping business, and just her being the outstanding horticulturist that she is! (Gotta try for those brownie points whenever I can, right?) It’s such a cool thing to watch a seed grow from nothing into something that is really beautiful, and to see the design of the weddings and events we’ve done come together in the same way is a cool process to be a part of.
Working with DBG, I’ve seen so many different types of flowers that sometimes it’s hard to keep track of them all, but with each wedding I keep adding on to my mind rolodex of flora. It’s become a joke at DBG about calling flowers by their “real” names – those that are really long and always seem to end with something that sounds like -ificus. We’ll be processing the flowers out of boxes and someone (who will not be named) will say, “Hey Audrey, how many of the floristidiumificus do we have?” Huh?? What in the world is that? Oh, you mean this orangey flower over here? OK, got ya. (I made this flower up, BTW, but I'm sure you knew that.) Yeah, that goes on repeatedly. Hey, it’s hard sometimes!!
I figured I could start with a flower everyone pretty much knows – the hydrangea! Ok, some of you are probably thinking, I know all about hydrangeas. There’s nothing you can tell me that I don’t know. Well, you could be right. They are a flower I’m pretty familiar with, but I learned a few fascinating facts about them recently.
We’ve used hydrangeas in several weddings that we’ve done at Designs by Ginny. Most everyone loves them too. They are such a staple flower in the South. My grandmother has these huge hydrangea bushes in her backyard, of which the dark blue is my favorite. You know when something’s so beautiful you can’t look away from it? That’s how I feel about those flowers – I know it’s weird but growing up and even now when I see them, I just like to stare at them for awhile - like a moth to a flame.
See what I mean? Put you in a trance, am I right?
We’ve used hydrangeas in so many bouquets and arrangements. Because of their size they’re great for adding a big dose of color and filling in gaps where needed.
Great for bigger statement making arrangements.
Or for smaller ones and bouquets.
First discovered in Japan, the name comes from the Greek word "hydros," meaning water, and "angos," meaning jar or vessel. This roughly translates to "water barrel," referring to the hydrangea's need for lots of water and also its flower shape. This makes sense to me seeing as I’ve learned the hard way in the past to keep them in water at all times…Re-cutting the stems and also soaking the heads of the flower in water can extend the life of a hydrangea a little longer.
Hydrangea colors change as the plant ages. My mom taught me that it’s also the acidity of the soil that determines what color the flowers will be. They can range from blues to purples, to whites and pinks. It all depends on what’s down in the good ol’ dirt. Acidic soil, a lower pH, will result in blue flowers. Neutral soil will produce purple flowers or a mix of pink and blue, and a higher pH, more alkaline soil, will give you pink blooms. There are certain things you can add to the soil to change the color of your plants. Things you already have in your kitchen such as orange peels, coffee grounds or eggs shells can be added to the soil to increase the acidity and turn hydrangeas that deep blue vibrant color.
I love the oakleaf hydrangea!
Some other cool facts about hydrangeas are:
- There are about 70 to 75 different species of hydrangeas.
- If you’re out in the garden and are suddenly struck with hunger pains and oh, look, over there is a big yummy looking hydrangea blossom – Yeah, don’t go eatin’ that. They’re poisonous and probably taste really bad anyway. Although you would have to ingest a large amount of the flower to get sick, it’s probably not worth it so just do yourself a favor and go grab a pop tart. You’ll thank me later.
- Don’t give Madonna any hydrangeas. Just don’t. Not her favorite thing.
- And lastly, certain flowers have meanings and hydrangeas are no different. They can be given as a show of gratitude and show thanks, but also apparently symbolize heartlessness and frigidity. Now that, I never knew. Hmmm, kind of wishing I still didn’t. But it also can mean love and perseverance, so basically whatever you want it to mean, it can! :)
Hydrangeas are such a classic flower, and their versatility and beauty make them a perfect go-to when choosing flowers for an event. They can be used in so many different ways. If you have an event coming up, we’d love to help you with your floral design needs so be sure to contact us, whether you'd like to include hydrangeas or not! :)