Heavenly Hydrangeas, too

Week 29, as we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book Slow Flowers

Two types of hydrangeas from my landscape — Limelight and Oak Leaf — with Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and a few scabiosa seed heads. Note, the vintage McCoy urn, an upgrade for this design

The hydrangeas for this updated arrangement are different varieties, but they are more “slow” than the mop-head white ones I used in 2013. These oakleaf hydrangea blooms and Limelight blooms are hyperlocal because I clipped them from my landscape — they are at peak performance stage in late July. As the irises, peonies, and hellebore blooms have faded in my front border of the #slowflowerscuttinggarden, thank goodness for five hydrangeas that put on a show!

The 2013 edition, from page 53 of the Slow Flowers book

There’s not much “design” when you fill a large urn with voluptuous hydrangeas, right? The vase is different: in 2013 I had an imported celadon-glazed vase with a pretty raised 3D pattern of hydrangea-like florets and I photographed the arrangement in front of my former garden’s blue mop-head hydrangeas.

from the 1930s or 1940s, this urn is part of my cherished collection of vintage American-made pottery

That vase has disappeared and I think my 2023 substitute is a sweet alternative — a vintage, American-made McCoy Pottery urn. The height and opening are similar and the glaze is equally pretty against the white and purple.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ for the win!

The Geranium ‘Rozanne’ was and is a favorite long-blooming summer perennial, the type of plant I love at the front of borders or edge of raised beds. The scabiosa in bud, lends a little textural detail.

Hydrangea details

In 2013, I wrote this about hydrangeas:

Pristine white, perfectly symmetrical and voluptuous, these hydrangeas are the quintessential summertime flower and a favorite of cottage gardeners and bridal parties.

What I’ve continued to observe is the importance of seasonality with hydrangeas. We grow them in the garden (or on the farm) and harvest them for fresh arrangements or for drying, appreciating their seasonal beauty. It’s so much nicer than trying to make a hydrangea imported from Holland or South America perk up after shipping to use in the dead of winter.

Debra Prinzing

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American-grown flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national conversation that encourages consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases. Debra is the producer of SlowFlowers.com, the weekly "Slow Flowers Podcast" and the American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4) campaign. Debra is author of 11 books, including Slow Flowers (2013), The 50 Mile Bouquet (2012) and Slow Flowers Journal (2020). She is the co-founder of BLOOM Imprint, the boutique publishing arm of Slow Flowers.

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For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)slowflowers.com.