via flickr

Hydrangeas are becoming an increasingly popular flower for weddings and parties. In my opinion that is because you get a lot more "bang for your buck." Because each stem of hydrangea holds a rather large bloom, a bride or party host will only need to buy a few in order to have a very full bouquet or centerpiece.* Another great thing about hydrangeas is their availability and versatility. You can find them just about anywhere, during almost every season, and in almost every color imaginable- not to mention they easily can be used in modern and traditional arrangements. Although there are something like 23 different types of hydrangea species, the most commonly cultivated one in the U.S. is the "big leaf hydrangea." This is the type most of us are familiar with- the large shrub filled with large ball like clusters of blooms.

A wonderful characteristic of hydrangeas is the multitude of colors that are available. Just to name a few, hydrangeas can be white, light pink, light blue, hot pink, deep blue, a bright blue-ish purple, green, and one called "changing" which is a green with burgundy tips (only available in the fall usually). Word to the wise though- remember that colors vary. When you order pink, you might get a flower slightly different than the color you imagined. More often than not though, your florist will work the the grower to get the best possible match- just make sure to bring swatches with you as your definition of bright pink might vary from your florist's.

** this is great money saving wedding flower since it can be carried alone or mixed with pricier flowers to "bulk up" a bouquet. Also, if you want to create a lush feeling, this flower does wonders.