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Beach Cottage Hydrangeas with Coastal Beach Decor

Fri 11th, Nov, 2011

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G’day lovelies!

Wanna come in and see my Hydrangeas Beach Cottage style ;-) ?

I love hydrangeas, their big floppy heads and profusion of colour and puffy softness these bring to decorating…

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The best thing about hydrangeas is how adaptable they are…just perfect for a cottage look, the English look, the Prairie look…but equally at home for beach decor or coastal style and I love them grouped together in a more modern setting too.

 

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Hydrangeas say nostalgia, open gates, big pitchers of lemonade, hanging out down the beach and summer days to me….

 

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They are a bit like my Dump & Go recipes though, only for flowers…you can easily chop off hydrangeas heads, stuff them in virtually any receptacle and they will instantly add a fabulous pop of colour and freshness to your room…

Though mostly I love them in big vases, crammed together for a big pop of colour, but I have tried all manner of ways of displaying hydrangeas, they work very well for the single stem in a vintage bottle look, hydrangeas floating in a bowl are lovely, plus I love them in my big old zinc flower bucket…that looks lovely with my white hydrangeas…

 

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But what about for Coastal Style or a beach decor?

Well, for my look, I love to combine that whole chic and shabby, vintage thing with beach / coastal style, so I think hydrangeas work beautifully…throw around a few shells, and the odd nautical stripe and it all ties in quite nicely thank you very much.

 

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As you know, when we moved into this ratty old cottage on the beaches, the garden was so very disappointing to me…the weeds were up to our necks nearly, there were dead things around and to be honest it was totally depressing…I cried.  A lot.

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One of the first things we had to get done, simply because you couldn’t even walk out there was to get the ‘lawn’ stripped down and some of the more huge weeds taken care of…it was amazing in those first few weeks what happened…we discovered soooo many things…a path and beds and little areas…it was obvious to me, that at some point someone had put quite a lot of thought and planning into this garden…and so as we dug and cleared out, I hoped I would come across hydrangeas…but no, frangipani and camellia, yep, but no hydrangea in sight.

And one of the biggest mistakes, looking back with hindsight, isn’t that just a wonderful thing, was not putting a bit more thought into the garden that first year…we literally threw in cordylines all along one side and around and those now are huge and I just love them out there in the breeze, but if only we had put my hydrangeas in then too, those bushes would be heaving with big old floppy hydrangea heads in all manner of shapes and sizes by now…you live and learn.

 

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But fear not, hydrangea lovers, that’s one of the best things that I have learnt about this plant…how once it is in and established (even if that first year it looks a bit sad), hydrangeas will be your best friend, even if you have coastal air and sandy soil, they will burst alive as Spring springs itself and summer beckons…

I have learnt quite a bit the last couple of years about hydrangea care and growing…more on that soon, (some interesting info on the history of them here) including how to keep them looking good inside (I learnt some great tips from my old Aussie neighbour whose garden is filled with these) and more on how to get the colours you want…(I have pink hydrangeas, blue ones & white….plus I have got a bush of mixed colours…)

For now, I am going out to get some fresh air, I actually have some other hydrangeas that I bought at the market to plant…and a few more herbs to put in…we are expecting rain here this arvo, I was planning to head down the beach for a quick dip but that may not be happening now, so I am going to be seaweed feeding my plants later on when the earth is nice and wet…

Happy Friday, if you are a Beach Cottage Saturday Clubber, ladies get your diaries ready for downtime…

 

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38 Responses to “Beach Cottage Hydrangeas with Coastal Beach Decor”

  1. Cherie says:

    Be still my beating heart …

    We’re about to plant some of these bad boys, & I just LOVE LOVE LOVE!

    Any hydrangea tips you have, feel free to perhaps write a hydrangea 101 post or something? :)

    Pretty please? :)

    • sarah says:

      yes Cherie Hydrangea 101 on the way…I have learnt a lot with this Aussie garden & hydrangeas over the last 18 months or so…x

  2. Kylie says:

    I love hydrangeas. Mine aren’t doing so well. Maybe you do need to do the Hydrangea 101 post?
    Enjoy them. Kylie

  3. Angie says:

    I am so JEALOUS !!!! Ive loved hydrangas since I was a child. Ive never seen them so blue !!! My daughters bridesmaids carried white hydrangas with the palest pink blush tips, white peonies, and pale pink roses ! .

  4. Alicia says:

    One of my favourites too. Our big old house on the hill has a huge number of hydrangeas so we are very lucky. They LOVE this mountain soil and the heads on them are huge. All blue of course due to the acidic nature of this soil. One thing I have learnt to keep them looking good for a long time in water is to bash the bottom of the stem with a hammer/roller/end of knife and break the stems open a bit. They draw up much more water this way and stay looking good for much longer.
    Great post!
    Alicia

  5. Alicia says:

    plus they are super easy to grow from cuttings too! I forgot to add :)
    alicia

  6. Carli says:

    Love, love, love hydrangeas. Funnily enough, bought my first one only yesterday (white) at Bunnings. We are in the process of doing our garden too. I have plans for LOTS more.

    Looking forward to your tips on growing. I will need them! x

    • sarah says:

      Carli, do you have a Harris Farm Markets near you?? They have them for a great price…but Bunnings is probs just as good…though I haven’t seen them in my Bunnings x

  7. Deb says:

    I am very jealous of your beautiful blooms. Sadly our hydrangeas died off in the drought. I have been a bit hesitant to try replanting yet. Maybe I should just give it a shot. Happy days to you. Deb

  8. Gorgeous blue hydrangeas. I don’t have any in my yard. Maybe next year…..

  9. Deanne says:

    I bought some at a local markets the other day, I really wanted white ones, but a lady had got there when they first opened and bought every last one of them, so I got blue instead. I need to get them in tomorrow!

  10. Jen says:

    I love them too. ❈ I bought my very first one this past summer, and kept him in a pot on my deck. Planning on putting him in the ground and getting another little one for the deck next summer. You’ll have to explain seaweed feeding… Is that just fertilizing with seaweed you find on the beach?

  11. Love the hydrangeas, I have about 20 plants, they were glorious this year! I add coffee grounds and egg shells around the base of mine, the acidity helps them stay bluish. I did a pretty post about them this summer, thanks for sharing, Laura

  12. Kat says:

    I could do with some of these in our beachy garden.
    Mostly my garden is made up of cuttings. Are you able to grow these from cuttings too?

    • sarah says:

      you sure are Kat…it’s sooooo easy…I’ll be sharing how I do it in my hydrangea post coming soon…xo

  13. Tammi says:

    Ah, I adore hydrangeas!!! They were the one hardy plant I grew well in NZ and that’s saying something :) Sadly I don’t often see them around these parts of WA.

    Playing catchup today….love how your deck is looking, I can just imagine how cosy it will be out there once you have styled it…..and that butter cake is now on my to-do list. Please keep the go-to recipes coming :)

    Enjoy your weekend Sarah.

    x

  14. Wow, your hydrangea season is WAY ahead of ours in Melbourne. Our bushes are just forming their flower tracts – the colour is weeks off. More a December thing here. But I agree – they are the most fab flowers. Happily flowering all summer long, and then the autumn brings the lovley russet tones. Ok they are a little dull in winter, but that is forgiven every summer. Yours are the most astonishly intense blue.

  15. Alice says:

    Please share the secret to maintaining hydranges good looks inside soon… My beautiful white ones now have brown spots all over them(only after a week)! I am so sad it didn’t happen with my pink ones! I am loving your blue ones! I can’t wait to get the front of our house (will not be a while) so i can plant a whole bunch of them in our front garden! I trully love this flower… I have to say though I love it best in white :).

  16. Rukmini says:

    Seriously, you know when I moved in to my new home, I cried too. Profusely. Anyway, Can I grow hydrangeas from cuttings? And will they grow in sub tropical climates?

  17. lisaroy says:

    Definitely my favourite flower! I’m allergic to them indoors but in the garden they’re ok as long as I don’t handle them too much. Hydrangeas are difficult to find here in Dubai but I did find some artificial (gasp!) ones that look surprisingly real – my guy asked me if they were real when he first saw them. They give me that look I’m after when the real thing just isn’t accessible. xo

  18. Sonia says:

    Oh I desperately need your 101. I have tried planting these but they just don’t take. :(
    Do yours get a lot of sun?

  19. Chrisartist says:

    My mother used to change the colour of our hydrangeas by putting old wire wool scrubbers around the base. Beetroot juice will also change the colour of the heads. I used to love their deep burgundy flowers.
    Chris

  20. My bush is just starting to turn purplish/blue up in the mountains here. Will look for a white bush and plant a pink one somewhere else where I can change the soil. You just reminded me about cuttings…I used to see them at fetes as a child, potted up in old jam tins. I think I will pot up some cuttings next time I prune my big bush.

  21. Diana says:

    Your photos are beautiful! Hydrangea is my favorite flower!!! I have cuttings from my mother’s bushes and have them drying in the house now.. so easy to put in vases and they keep me happy all fall and winter!… I love when the hydrangeas turn in the fall weather that we are having here now in the States…I will be awaiting more info from you about your experiences with these beauties!… The blue ones are my favorites and I could just stare at your photo all day, but alas I must get back to work!! LOL… Enjoy!!

  22. Mari says:

    I love hydrangeas
    if you want to see here
    http://creamaricrea.blogspot.com/
    hugs
    Mari

  23. Love Hydrangeas. We have chartreuse ones in the garden that to me really signal summer. They can be bullies but when trimming them means the house is full of flowers you don’t mind so much.

  24. Sharon says:

    Wow, those beauties look lovely in your white pitcher. I just love hydrangeas, too. The blue and white are my favorites but I have pink ones in my garden (go figure).

    I wish I’d known it was easy to grow them from cuttings because I used them in my wedding and would love to have something growing in my garden from my wedding bouquet.

    I’m looking forward to reading your advice on growing and caring for hydrangeas.

  25. They are beautiful! There’s nothing that brings life to a room quicker than a big bouquet… the beachier the better!

    I would love to grow my own, so I’m gonna wait on that post patiently…!

    x Catherine @ The Spring (in Brisbane)

    p.s. I have a little giveaway going on over at my blog that I know you and your readers would really love… it’s a $100 voucher for mason jars (new and vintage), cast iron skillets, and all other things oldy timey for the kitchen… Please pass it on… it’s right up Beach Cottage alley!

  26. one of my favorite flowers along side tulips! love the blue pop of color!

  27. I just bought one from Coles but it took so long to decide which one as the colours were all so pretty. Fiona

  28. carrie says:

    What a lovely picture! I love white with blue and the flowers are gorgeous!

  29. Tamara says:

    Beautiful blue hydrangeas Sarah! My old next door neighbour used to grow beauties too – she put rusty nails in the ground around them as she reckoned it was iron that gives them the blue colour! (That may or may not be true) ;-)

  30. Love the colours in these photos, they are fantastic! I love really simple arrangements of flowers.

  31. Susan says:

    I love your Hydrangeas! I would love to grow them here in Texas, but have been too scared to try – I worry that the summers here are too hot. There are always cut ones available for decorating my home, though, so I should buy them more often.

    I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

  32. Rob says:

    Sarah, just love em…on our way back from Wales a couple of weeks ago I saw the most vivid red ones…in fact as hubby whizzed by I briefly thought about knocking on one door and asking if I could buy some right off their bush…but we were nearly 5 miles away by the time I articulated this…too late! Robx