Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Hydrangeas ~ Southern California Style

Scott and I have always been cheap frugal, and our wedding was no exception. 
We were married in July of 2000 in this garden (no decorating budget required) 
and we used potted hydrangeas as table centerpieces.

Skip ahead almost eleven years and here is one of those little lovelies now:

It's beautiful when it's blooming, but I kind of love it just before the buds open.

Over the years I've collected other hydrangeas and, through trial and error, 
I've figured out how to keep them thriving through the Southern California summer.

 I've discovered that my hydrangeas do well in full shade. 
They love this north-facing side of my house, under the eaves where it's shady all day long.

Full disclosure: this is what hydrangeas look like in the winter. 
You really have to embrace the cycle of the seasons. 
Personally, I love to see the dramatic transformation from rotten sticks to lush abundance.

In January I clean up my skeletal hydrangeas and prune off any dead or unwanted twigs.
Don't prune them too hard or you'll get rid of all the little buds. 
Hydrangeas bloom on old wood.

I picked up this "shooting star" hydrangea at Trader Joe's a few years ago.

These variegated lace-cap hydrangeas were a Mother's Day gift a while back.

In the spring I water them every few days, but in the summer they need a drink daily.
 I've found that they all do well through the summer as long as they remain shaded. 
Even direct morning sun will leave them scorched.

Ahhh . . . summertime.
It's almost here!


  1. Laura,
    Have you ever seen one of my dad's paintings of a hydrangea? They are beautiful! If you want a peak, go to his website,
    By the way, I love reading your blogs, your eye for photography is amazing and you are beautifully creative!

  2. Beautiful, Rachel. I have looked through your dad's paintings before and I am always so impressed. They are gorgeous.


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