Friday, June 18, 2010


Hydrangeas are plentiful right now. While their full soft blooms may require an arrangement that is too large for altar flowers in a small traditional chapel, they are certainly suitable for adornment of a larger church. Moreover, in a small chapel, hydrangea arrangements can perhaps be used on pedestals in the sanctuary or elsewhere.

The composition above is by Adelaide B. Wilson. It combines hydrangeas with Hosta foliage -- a very interesting mix of textures.

Wilson discusses the arrangement in this lively commentary:
"I know of no more distinctive large bloom for the church. Coming at a season when there is little else of such important form, with variety of color from pale-green young blooms through a period of paper whiteness to final pink in many values, hydrangeas are indeed lovely. Even without the fine color and form, the texture of these flowers is suitable for any setting. . .

"Each bloom must be treated as a handsome individual. Bunched together in a mass, the heads lose their distinction. Foliage should be stripped off, the stalks put in deep water and, if the heads droop, a complete submersion given. However, the flowers should be fully dry before arranging or large puddles will collect. Strong foliage acts as a foil.

"Hosta with its glaucous sheen and strong veining here invokes a moving rhythm which travels from one mass to the next, giving each flower head a little alcove in which to sit in state. Exposed front and back of leaves add contrast.

"The copper urn is a substantial vase for large forms. It is simply made and came from the hands of a coppersmith of no special training but with an eye for proportion. Its unpolished red-brown is good with other metals and with wood and heavy fabrics. Such a vase is excellent for [a] sturdy pedestal or low table."
Source of text and image:
Wilson, Adelaide B.; Flower Arrangement for Churches (M. Barrows & Co., Inc.; New York, 1952), pp. 158-159.

1 comment:

Leilani Schuck Weatherington said...

The courtyard of St John's Hospital where our son underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his brain is filled with beautiful blue hydrangeas and hostas; so lovely.