Thursday, May 29, 2008

White Peonies & Blue Hydrangea

My Living Room Flowers
Well it's hard to believe but Peony season is beginning to wind down...These are the last of the local hothouse white (Duchesse de Nemours) Peonies available until the field Peonies become available, probably late next week. Of course I had to bring them home! The scent, which is soft and beautiful, filled my whole living room for the 4 days that they lived. Day 5, I came home and there was a mass of petals on the table.... Oh well, like a fabulous meal, or a spectacular glass of wine....some things are meant to be enjoyed in the moment. C'est la vie...
We still have soft pink "Sarah Bernhardt", hot pink "Kansas", and red "Red Charm" available in good quantity this week. In the next few weeks, it will depend on our weather!

Sky Blue Hydrangea Centrepieces

As my favourite Spring flowers (Peonies,Tulips, Lily of the Valley, Hyacinth, Anemones, Ranunculus, Muscari , Mock Orange Blossom, Solomon's Seal) start to dwindle in availability, I look forward to the flowers of Summer. The Hydrangea pictured above are imported from California, but a small selection of our local cut varieties is already available in smaller quantities . As every flower loving Vancouverite knows, Hydrangea is the flower of our city in the early summer in Vancouver. From soft sky blues, soft greens, light pinks and mauves, to jewel toned sapphire blues, royal purples, and fuschias, all changing their colours as the season progresses. Depending on the variety, colours may lighten or get deeper and richer as the summer progresses. .

My own personal favourite is a delicate chartreuse variety called "Annabelle" which I am desperately sourcing out right now to add to my own shade garden. This is a variety that dries true to it's colour, and though I have been known to be somewhat vocal about my dislike for dried (ie: dead) flowers, Annabelle dries so beautifully that it has graced my own home on more than one occasion. (of course, for no longer than a month or 2, at which point it fades and gets dusty and is sacrificed to the Yard Trimmings pile in my garage)

Special Characteristics: Hydrangea actually means "water" and if they run dry of water, either as a plant or as a cut flower, it is ame second chance. (This is why they are not a great wedding bouquet flower choice ) As a cut flower, they drink through their petals as well as through their stems, and are a wonderful flower to display submerged entirely in water. They don't receive enough water to sustain them adequately when used in floral foam, so should only be used in fresh water arrangements. Most varieties should live for 5-15 days as a cut flower, depending on conditions.

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