Hydrangeas are traditional summer flowers favored by many florists because of their showy lacy blossoms in assorted shades of pink, lavender, blue, white and green. Their generous size make them an excellent choice for creating a lavish centerpiece. During the seasons when hydrangeas are unavailable, there are other flowers you can use to achieve a similar old-fashioned and bountiful look for your centerpiece.
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During the spring months, you may successfully substitute white or pink peonies for hydrangeas. They are similar in size to hydrangeas and peonies will create the same timeless look to your centerpiece. Sprigs of lilacs provide a lacy airy flower for your centerpiece which will capture the charm of the hydrangea. Another option is to cluster and tape a few stems of pink, white or lavender hyacinths together with florist's tape. The effect will reflect the look of a single hydrangea blossom.
Roses are at the height of their growing season during the summer. Group three stems of full blown roses together to use as a beautiful substitute for hydrangeas in your centerpiece. Cut the stems of your roses to the desired length and grasp them together in your hand. With your other hand, wrap the stems with green floral tape. Your roses can then be used as a single large blossom. Alliums also bloom during the summer. These blossoms are a large lacy spheres available in shades of purple and white which can be used as an interesting substitute for hydrangeas.
Autumn brings an array of colored chrysanthemums to the garden including white, green and shades of pink and lavender. They are available in many sizes including very large blossoms that are comparable in size to hydrangeas and can be used as a substitute for hydrangeas in your centerpiece. Smaller mums can be fashioned into a single sphere to mimic the shape of a hydrangea. Cut the stems to about 7 inches long. Group seven or eight stems together between your fingers and adjust the height of the flowers until they resemble a sphere. Wrap the stems tightly together with green floral tape so the cluster can be displayed as a single flower.
In most regions, you have to rely on your local florist to supply you with fresh flowers during the winter months. International growers ship flowers spanning all seasons during the cold months. This allows tulips to become available commercially during the winter season. Wrap florist's tape around a small bunch of tulips. Mix them with sprigs of baby's breath or wax flowers to replace hydrangea blossoms in your centerpiece. White, green or pink roses are readily available this time of year and can be prepared in the same manner.
Hydrangeas grown in your garden will dry naturally if they are left on the bush during the fall months. Pick the dried blossoms and place the stems in a dry container. Don't place them in water. Store the flowers in a cool dry place. The flowers will fade to a warm shade of vintage mauve or blue-gray or the color of tea. Mix the preserved hydrangeas with fresh flowers in your centerpiece.