The large blooms of the hydrangea provide showy material for a garland. Garlands are strands of flowers or greenery used for decoration. Hydrangea garlands add colour and texture for the holidays, a wedding, an open house, party or any celebratory event. Making your own hydrangea garland requires only basic supplies.
Cut the hydrangea blooms in the morning, if you're harvesting your own. This is when the flowers have the most water in them. Cut the stems at least 6 inches long at a 45-degree angle. Take flowers from different sides of the plant to keep the hydrangea bush in balance.
Put the hydrangeas in a bucket or vase of water and keep them in water until you construct the garland. Add a packet of floral food to the water to help the blooms last longer.
Cut a piece of cord the desired length for the garland. Add enough length so the garland will drape. For example, to make a hydrangea garland to decorate the front of a buffet table, cut the cord at least 4 feet longer than the table.
Stretch the cord out on a table or counter. Arrange the hydrangea blooms along the length of the cord. Place the blooms close together for a thick garland, or space them farther apart if you have a limited number of flowers. Arranging the flowers before you attach them gives you the opportunity to make sure you have enough blooms for the length and thickness of garland you want to make.
Add greenery between the flowers, if desired. This will help fill out the garland if you don't have enough flowers for the length of garland you want to make. Cut the greenery in 1-foot lengths so you'll have enough stem to work with.
Hold the flower stem against the cord at one end of the garland and wrap florist wire around the stem and the cord in a spiral. Wrap the end of the wire on top of itself three or four times to secure it. If you use greenery, keep the hydrangeas on top of the greenery to show them off and wire the hydrangea and greenery stems together along the cord.
Place the next hydrangea over the wire wrapped stems to cover the construction of the garland. Continue wiring the stems to the cord for the full length of the garland.
To reduce wilting, keep the garlands in a cool location, such as an unheated room, pantry, garage or basement until you're ready to use them. Fabric stores sell decorative cord by the roll or by the foot in a variety of colours. Florist suppliers and craft stores carry florist wire, which is also called floral wire.
Dried greenery, including cuttings from woody plants such as hydrangea, are flammable. Keep them away from candles, incandescent light bulbs, fireplaces, heaters, pilot lights, smoking areas and other sources of heat or flame.