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Pink and lilac table centrepiece by Shrinking Violet

Did you know that one of the best loved garden flowering shrubs is actually a native to Southern and Eastern Asia? Lets find out a little more about the versatile Hydrangea.

At Shrinking Violet Bespoke Floristry we love to work with Hydrangea. It’s a very versatile and long-lasting flower. It looks great on it’s own, in a bouquet or as a centrepiece for larger arrangements.

It comes in a wide range of colours and shades, so there’s always a way to find a place for it in any display.

The Hydrangea symbolises heartfelt emotions and gratitude and in Asia a pink hydrangea can be gifted as a sign that you are the beat of their heart.

Originally discovered in Japan and native to Southern and Eastern Asia and the Americas, there are now around 100 species and it can be found all around the world.

Autumn wedding bouquet showing hydrangea as centrepiece

It is especially popular in British gardens and you will see their pink, white or blue flowers in gardens from late spring through to late Autumn. The colour of blooms vary due to the aluminium ions found in the soil where they grow. So even neighbouring plants can vary!

The name Hydrangea comes from the Greek hudor (“water”) aggos (“jug”) because the plant requires a lot of water, primarily down to their size.

Folklore claims that they can be used to break a witch’s curse and Native Americans used parts of the plant as a diuretic and burn remedy. It’s not advised that you eat them though, as they are mildly toxic!

Hydrangeas can be tricky to use as cut flowers because a sticky sap in their stems blocks water absorption, however blasting the stems with hot water for a few seconds softens the sap and allows them to drink water.

They also dry well, so a great flower for bouquets or floral arrangements that have sentimental value, that you may wish to keep. (See our article on how to dry your flowers to get the best results!)

The Hydrangea has recently experienced a bit of a resurgence in popularity after long being thought of as a Grandmother’s flower.

As most hydrangeas have a white base colour, even if they have other colours mixed in, they are excellent flowers for weddings.  But really they can be used for any occasion!