It’s Hydrangea Season In Iowa! 8-15-2020

If you’re wondering when to pick your hydrangeas for use in your home, this is what they should look like. First they’re white – do not pick them then because they’ll just wither up on the stem. And don’t wait till they’re brown on the stem because then they’ll be so dry, they’ll crumble. When they’re green is the time I pick them and put them in baskets and containers to decorate my house.

Of course there are hundreds more that I won’t pick and in November I will cut the stalks down before winter. This large bouquet will live on the entryway table for awhile.

A bunch for my porch table-

These large round blooms are Annabelles.

This small tree is a PeeGee Hydrangea. When the weather turns chilly these white blooms will turn a coppery pink and that’s when I like to pick them. Not now.

This tree is Limelight – HUGE BLOOMS to be picked later when they turn green.

And here’s the sweetest part – these blooms will dry up and turn a tannish color so when I put up my Christmas tree I use these tan hydrangeas to stick in the spaces along with white lights. The natural color in the evergreen is beautiful and a large hydrangea bloom can fill up those bare spots in a Christmas tree. The downside is taking down the tree and the blooms crumble all over the floor – a mess for sure.

Here are the Dirty Dozen quilts for today:

Ohio Star Crossing is now in the store!

The original version of this quilt has light spacers.

I LOVE this red quilt! Here’s a closeup.

We have both been making new quilts from the original Farmer’s Daughter pattern as well as Chicken Gumbo. Those will be next in the store. Until then I am working on a birthday gift for November and a housewarming gift for ASAP.

After the funeral yesterday I went to the grocery store, Fairway, in Clear Lake. Going on a Friday afternoon was my first mistake. The lines were loooooong to check out so I used the self checkout. After doing my own scanning, bagging and putting it all in a cart, don’t I deserve a small discount for all that work? All the kid did was push the cart from the store front to my car! Doesn’t seem right to me. I think a small discount should be taken off my total if I used the self checkout. The only item I couldn’t find on the shelves yesterday was coconut – yup, coconut!

Enough blabber – we are actually meeting friends tonite at a restaurant- I can’t wait!!!

48 thoughts on “It’s Hydrangea Season In Iowa! 8-15-2020

  1. Kim J LeMere

    Enjoy dinner out with friends tonight, how wonderful. I recall shopping at Fairway, they always have such a good meat department. I love all the hydrangeas you showed us, what a great idea to use them in your Christmas tree.

  2. Joan Baxter

    Fareway has self checkouts?!! I worked at the Spencer store for 10 years. I was shocked at the throngs of shoppers when the first time “blizzard” was mentioned in the weather forecast.

  3. Dee Winter

    And that’s why I don’t use self check. I’ll leave a cartful if it’s only self check. I’m saving them money, I don’t work there and so I don’t use self check. I love Adopt, don’t shop.

  4. Annette

    I figure self check out means you will do it all by yourself, like Walmart. At least you saved time by going through the self check out. Nice that the kid pushed your cart out to the car.
    I love our Fareway in Ames, every employee is so helpful.

  5. Sandy

    Hi Mary, love all the hydrangeas ,you certainly have green fingers! Enjoy your meal out, best wishes from sandy

  6. Bobbie

    Hi Mary,
    You yard and flowers are beautiful. I don’t have your green thumbs.
    Since the pandemic I only use self checkouts. The reason you aren’t in contact with other people. I try to wait as long as I can before I shop just limit my exposure to the public. I’m 75 and believe I’m in the higher risk group. I try not to freak out and totally become a hermit. But I also want to be on the cautious side. Your blog is so fun to read and I look forward to it.

  7. Felicia Hamlin

    Those hydrangeas are beautiful! I have an “Endless Summer” one and it has three blooms, a lot of leaves but that’s it. I have a small one that I bought at the end of the season last year and is doing good. I don’t like to use self checkouts, if you make a mistake it takes forever to get help. Besides, they should give you a discount like you said. Enjoy the nicer weather.

  8. Jo in Wyoming

    OMG, the pictures of everything today are just gorgeous! Flowers to quilts and the chicken strolling the yard. No Hazel, Telly, or kitties, must be nap time.
    I have always felt self check, deserves employee discount!
    Takes your groceries to your car!!! Now that is old fashioned service.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – oh, yes, they wheel the cart to the car and load your car but I don’t think I’ll ever use self checkout again!!

  9. Sabra Jenkins

    Love your hydranges. Since I don’t have any I guess I’ll just have to visit and pick yours And see your corn grow Amazing as we have no corn here except frozen or canned. Whatever is shipped in is old and not very good. We have had a long wet cold summer here. Sitka Alaska. But what is really important … my 2 beagles are interested in the wall hanging you posted

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sabra Jenkins – you can find this pattern in our online store. It’s called Don’t Shop, Adopt.

  10. laurie a

    Your hydrangeas are beautiful! I am so jealous. The deer ate mine down to the ground last year.

  11. Charlotte Shira

    Your hydrangeas are beautiful. I love the “pointy” ones. We saw those in Amish Country in Ohio and I wondered what they were. The DDs are beautiful too!!

  12. Dee

    Your flowers are beautiful. I love that tall thing you have with the brown eye susan. What is it?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Dee – I have no idea – you mean the wooden structure, right? Got it at an auction many years ago.

  13. Jeanine

    Love all the pictures today. Beautiful DD #3’s. Fareway is about the only store I know that has boys to push your cart to your car. We do not have self check at our Fareway (thank goodness) here in Oskaloosa. I do most of my shopping there. They have the best meat. Your flowers are beautiful. I, like many others, do not have a green thumb.

  14. Cheryl

    Thank you for tipping me off on the Lori Holt four patch method/trick/magic! I gathered quirky charm squares from various packs and had 225 4-patch squares that were perfectly scrappy! I’m addicted. Love that red Ohio Star!

  15. Lois Ann Johnson

    I have had hydrangeas for years and never knew the “right time” to pick them. Thanks for all the helpful information today. I have a “Limelight” bush in my backyard and two “Annabelle” bushes in the front yard. The Annabelles are just now turning green. It will be a few more weeks for the Limelight. I had dinner “out” this evening with a friend. I was getting tired of my own cooking so needed to have a meal out for a change. When I cook for just “me,” I end up with leftovers. I don’t mind that, but after a few meals, I tend to get weary of eating the same thing over and over! Have a great weekend and a blessed Sabbath tomorrow!

  16. Jan VanDeWalle

    The DD quilts are beauty’s as usual. the first two are so long and narrow what are they used for? Maybe just an optical illusion.
    My hydrangeas are about done for this year since we are getting very hot weather and wind.. my blue mop head is trying to die , half the plant turned brown 2 month’s ago and the rest isn’t doing well either.
    Dinner out doesn’t happen here my hubby doesn’t like to go out to eat. My kids take me sometimes but we haven’t gone since the Virus, not much is open except for take out.
    Have a Blessed Sunday.

  17. Gwen

    I never use the self checkout at my grocery store. I agree with you. I am doing all that work for free. Also, I feel our country needs those jobs.

  18. Cathy

    Always love seeing your hydrangeas. A question, I have some pink hydrangeas. Do I pick them now or wait till they fade a bit?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Cathy – I’m not sure about pink ones – do they change color on the stalk? Or do they stay pink?

  19. Lynette W

    Your hydrangeas are beautiful! I struggle with mine as I’m in Florida and it’s really too hot for them. I just water a lot!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lynette – yes, I think you’re too hot – our weather must be perfect. Also – the “starts” of my Annabelles are a plant that is originally 120 years old. I planted them about 35 years ago with plants from my neighbor, Emma. They don’t even like full sun here in North Iow.

  20. Sue in Oregon

    Good Morning, Mary. I wrote a long post yesterday and I don’t see it today. I wonder if I forget to click post comment? I think I did click it though. Does anyone else go back and check their comments?
    So, briefly…I too picked hydrangea blooms for the house. The bush was growing over our walk so we pruned it and I saved the blooms. About half are going to make it, I think. Some have already wilted. Yours are just gorgeous and I especially love the PeeGee. I have never owned a PeeGee.
    Again I will say the finishes are wonderful. The wool applique is very special.
    It will be hot again today, so must get going. I’m still in my bathrobe. Ha

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sue in Oregon – I just now searched for your comment but don’t see it!

  21. Joanne

    Thank you on when to pick hydrangea . Just picked mine. Love all the quilts . Be Still 😄

  22. Nikki M in Tx

    Beautiful photos, everything here is turning brown from heat.. been absolutely hellish last several days & no relief in forecast. I am just staying in! Have slowly, very slowly, been trying to clean out & organize my pantry… feel like a never ending task, not fun but necessary , or so I keep telling myself.
    I agree 1000% about a discount should be given for self check out.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki M – your kind of heat is unimaginable to me – like our kind of cold is unimaginable to you! Hang in there!

  23. Janice Hebert

    Your hydrangeas are just beautiful Mary! Ours are struggling to survive. My Annabelle is doing just ok. I have a blue one out front that has just had it with the heat. My Limelight is struggling. I have one that is shaded by that big hop vine that takes over my rose arbor. Thank goodness for the hops! That hydrangea is doing well. We’ve been weeks without any rain. We can’t water due to our annual summer water ban. So, we only water our vegetable gardens by hand. I try to bring a few gallons out to each hydrangea but it’s hard with so many and lugging all of that water to them. But today we are actually having a shower as I write this! Yay! I’m hoping it keeps up. Thank you for the information on picking the blossoms. I hope there are some that I can salvage. Love all of the finished quilts/table runners! Vicki, those would make beautiful bed toppers too! My girlfriend drapes quilts shaped like that at the foot of her bed, looks great! Jan in MA

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan Hebert – must be very hard to be so short on water – we also have been many weeks with no rain and I’m just glad we aren’t banned on watering lawns, flowers or gardens. I hope Annabelle survives!

  24. Kate

    I refuse to use self checkout. It’s working for a store and they don’t pay you anything or need to provide healthcare and the store pockets all that extra money it saves by not hiring people who need jobs. There is no service anymore, but I won’t help them make it worse. I like to stand in line and tell the others, “look at all those people working for free.” Of course, I believe the stores put the slowest people at the registers so people will get frustrated and go check themselves out. Love your beautiful hydrangeas.

  25. Linda in Estherville

    I agree, they should give us a discount of at least 10 percent if we are not using a checker or bagger. People do not understand me….when I say we are taking someone’s job from them. You are the only other real live person who actually takes hydrangeas in. I always collect them from my son in Des Moines. I only have the miniatures here in Estherville. I have blue, a burgundy, and the limelights. I am so happy to hear that my poor bouquet I cut for my coffee table is sad…since I cut it too soon. I have been known to keep a bouquet for a couple years. His are the ones that turn the pale Rose colors in the fall. So pretty in my rosy tiled bathroom. His were planted in 1990, and are just gorgeous. Thank you for the idea of mixing them in with your Christmas Tree!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda in Estherville – I, too, have kept them for longer than a year and in fact the ones I took out of my house yesterday, I put in the playhouse! I still found it hard to throw them away. Haha!

  26. anonymous

    Ever since COVID raised its ugly head in New York, I’ve preferred using self-checkouts, figuring it’s one less person touching what I’m buying. That to me is important, and I’d rather bag things myself so the bags are packed as I want them. Wegman’s, one of the grocery stores where I shop, no longer offers single-use plastic bags, due to a ban placed on them by the state. As soon as the ban was announced last year I think it was, I started saving my plastic bags, and have been reusing them. The state eased up due to sanitation concerns during COVID, but Wegman’s refused to bring them back. So it’s either provide your own bags there, or pay 5 cents each for paper bags, which are not as strong as they used to be, and I refuse to do.

    I find the comments on getting discounts because of bagging your own groceries amusing. Food stores operate on narrow margins, so if they did that, prices would have to go up. Which do you want? A discount for bagging it yourself, or lower prices to start with? I know what I’d choose.

    1. Felicia Hamlin

      Not Wal-Mart, they became millionaires thanks to the low wages they pay their employees. I should know, I used to work there.

    2. Linda in Estherville

      I want my groceries checked and bagged. So simple…I will not pay for service charged for. I am not even charged by my Fareway for them filling my grocery list, ringing them up, loading them in my car, and finally coming for my money. That is happiness in small town USA

  27. Diane Deibler

    I have spray painted my dry hydrangeas a brown or rust before. They really turned out pretty for fall .
    you need to wait until they are dry though. I have also used hair spray on them when they are dry. Helps the shedding petals.

  28. Sandy

    Hi Mary, I have a question about the Annabelles. Do you fertilize yours? Mine get big but then they begin to flop over. Never have tried to stake them don’t believe that would work. They’re on the north side of house and I get plenty of blooms but they fall over. Any suggestions.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy – your Annabelles are just fine but they need a fence. Mine have those iron fence sections in front of them or they’d be on the ground, too! No, I have never fertilized them.

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