Monday, October 13, 2008

A different kind of harvest: hydrangeas

hydrangea harvest
So much of my garden writing has been about edibles this year. Due to the economy, eating local movement, and our increased focus in the past several years in growing more of our own food, we've removed more grass and planted more tomato plants. But when we first built our garden, I was focused on ornamental gardening, and we still grow tons and tons of ornamentals. And hydrangeas are one reason.

I could wax poetic on my love of the old flopsy mopsies. They're classic beauties, and this time of year the flowers on our Nikko Blue turn these wonderful antique colors. Once bright blue in July, they've faded to this gorgeous green, antiqued with purple, and before they dry up to a crisp brown with the onset of winter, this year I harvested them.

And what better to do with the harvest than to can them?


canning hydrangeas

I couldn't help it. The jars fit the bill perfectly. The thing about drying hydrangeas is that they'll just dry right there in place like that. Their color will fade a little, and I won't keep them longer than a few months, but until then, our dining room is filled with the harvest of hydrangeas, and the irony of a mantel decorated with canning jars.

hydrangeas at their best

13 comments:

Rozanne said...

I love how they look en masse!

And you know I'm obsessed with monitoring hydrangea fades. Each variety fades just a little differently and it keeps evolving.

Jocelyn:McAuliflower said...

What a beauty! Delightful use for that green stage.

Radio Gretchen said...

I'm green with envy.

Tina-cious.com said...

Oh wow -- that's gorgeous!

Desert Diva said...

They're absolutely beautiful!

breathingmoss said...

Beautiful.

I was once told that hydrangeas' colors vary based on the acidity of the soil. True? I love the varieties I've enjoyed all summer around town. Goodness, this is a fabulous garden town.

Heather said...

They're beautiful! I'm so sad that this year my hydrangeas didn't bloom. I have no idea why.

bemused said...

Stunningly simple yet ever so beautiful. What a talent you have, lelo, you rock.

breathingmoss (what a great 'net name), yes, hydrangea blooms are affected by soil acidity. Alkaline soil puts the flowers in the pink and acidic soil gives them the blues. You can adjust the pH but I think that's too much hassle and I enjoy what happens naturally. As Rozanne pointed out, they're gorgeous in all stages - and there's so many choices! I dare you not to drool while visiting this site: http://www.hydrangeasplus.com/home.php.

dig this chick said...

Oh how I'd love to be in that room. Gorgeous. Nice work.

Rosabela said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Can I visit from Germany? :-)

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Dramatic and so beautiful. Lovely photos.

A Day That Is Dessert said...

Beautiful flowers and pictures of them! Lecia

M. said...

so beautiful -- the flowers and the room!