Hydrangea Harvest

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I can’t have a vegetable garden because my yard backs up to a golf course. They have rules. If you’ve ever played golf this will not surprise you. It’s a sport notorious for rules. I can’t have a swing set, a clothes line, a fence or a shed either. I’m cool with that. I’m happy not to have to stare at some neighbor kid’s towering plastic rainbow tube slide. I teetered that totter 15 years ago. I have an utterly snobby, no-plastic rule in my yard.

And I acknowledge that vegetable gardens can look a bit unruly. Zucchini vines sprawled over the ground like clothes across the floor of a teenager’s bedroom, is a look that doesn’t fit a typical golfer’s idea of country club living. So as much as I would love to grow watermelon and a few rows of sweet corn, I remain compliant. With the exception of an espaliered apple tree, a single basil plant in a pot is the extent of my home-grown produce.

So for the last few years my fall harvest consists of ‘Limelight’ hydrangea blossoms. And while there is no recipe for hydrangea pie, or baked hydrangea bread, I am able to feed my insatiable appetite for beauty. And for me that is more than satisfying.

I just shape my shrub a little, strip the leaves off the stems and poke them into floral foam.

If you cut Limelight blossoms earlier in the summer they dry to a beautiful soft cream color. If you wait until they blush a little pink in the fall they keep that look as they dry.



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4 Responses

  1. Kevin O'Brien September 22, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Love the simple elegance of this Jan!
    Desperate for a last-minute holiday dinner table decoration last year, I went out in the garden and cut anything I considered “raw material” for a centerpiece. …ended up with a pile of holly branches, yew and some very dry & brown hydrangea blossoms. A quick spray of gold and red paint turned the blooms into passable holiday decor, added the greens for height & contrast. Guests loved it.
    Sorry about your veggie restrictions on the course, do you think anyone would notice a giant Calatrava-inspired bean trellis leaning out over a bunker :) ?

    • greenthumblonde September 23, 2012 at 12:03 am

      That sounds pretty cool Kevin. Did you take pictures? The one thing I think I could get away with is a sculpture. There doesn’t seem to be a mention of that in the by laws. I’ve found a few over the years but of course they are amazing pieces of art, not in my budget. I should seriously shoot your bean pole and post it. I love that thing!

  2. Karla King September 22, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Beautiful, as expected. I love the pink/green color of the blossoms. I am considering adding some “Limelights” to my garden but am concerned about their sun requirements. I have areas of my yard that receive some sun, but not many places see “full sun”. I have a couple “Annabelles” – you know the idiot-proof hydrangea -but mine NEVER bloom. Not sure the issue because they do get some sun. Oh the challenges of it all.

    What I really miss are my Nikkos in my yard in Raleigh…

    • greenthumblonde September 23, 2012 at 12:09 am

      I’ve never been successful with hydrangeas until Limelight. Though I guess the truth is I never really planted one properly until the Limelight on a standard. I also have a Pinky Winky which I think I bought just because the name made me smile. Seems like they do like at least a half a day of sun. I’ll check out Annabelles. What I need now is space!


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