Monday, May 21, 2018

How to Revive Wilted Hydrangeas

"Flowers whisper beauty to the world, even as they fade, wilt, fall." ~ Dr. SunWolf

Over the weekend, we honored the graduating seniors from our congregation with two very special events: a Saturday-evening banquet and a Sunday-morning reception. Friday afternoon and evening, I whiled away the hours blissfully arranging centerpieces with friends. To coordinate with our silver-rimmed plates and patterned napkins of gray, yellow and white, I filled glass vases with sliced lemons and snowy white hydrangeas. When we turned off the lights to head home, everything looked beautiful and the cold, dark room was fresh and fragrant.

So imagine my heartbreak to return to the church building on Saturday evening, ready to light candles and capture a few photos of our tablescapes before dinner, only to discover that most of the blooms had wilted. Whether it was the acids in the citrus or the unexpected heat and humidity caused by the air conditioning turning off during the night, or a combination of both, my beautiful bouquets were a shadow of their former glory. I had planned to repurpose the centerpieces for our reception the next morning, but the blossoms looked so sad that as tables were cleared after the party, many of the blooms were immediately thrown away.

But not so fast! I rescued a few blooms from the trash heap to see if they could be revived. I filled a bowl with tepid water, turned the stems upside down, and let the clusters of petals soak for a while. Then I clipped the stems shorter (at an angle) and arranged them in smaller vases of fresh water. As you can see from the photos in this post, we were treated to a Sunday-morning resurrection story, and the flowers look as lush and healthy as ever! In fact, they are now doing triple duty, after suffering through the banquet and looking lovely during the reception, by giving us a poignant reminder that you never know where beauty might flourish, if only we will offer a little tender loving care.

"Flowers don't worry about how they're going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful." ~ Jim Carrey  

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