As each November begins, the cooler days and frosty nights can offer, seemingly against all odds, one last bloom here and there in the garden. But it’s the Pee Gee Hydrangea that I planted in 1997 that always captures my attention this month.

September and October offer constant changes in color and texture, as the flowers turn shades of pink, copper, and red. Truly an amazing transformation that only Mother Nature can create.  That said, November is my favorite time to create something spectacular with these “spent” flowers becoming the inspiration for my November Bouquet. By the way, an inspiration that requires no water!  

My Pee Gee is a topiary tree and this is the perfect time of year to begin removing flowers to return it to its original topiary shape. But this year, I stopped to take a deep breath to ponder what I could do differently with all those dried flowers I removed.    

Yearly trimming is one chore I take pride in as it gives me the opportunity to reflect on all those beautiful massive white flowers of seasons gone by.  The drier the fall, the more beautiful and intact the flowers are. These flowers dry themselves on the tree stalk. It doesn’t get any easier than this, people. This simple task helps generate the ever larger flowers that come the following year.  However, winter is around the corner and my Pee Gee Hydrangea is ready, trimmed back so it’s powerful lonely center stalk will go to rest.  

What you will need for this “MARvelous project:

  • Dried Pee Gee Hydrangea flowers
  • Oak leaf branches from your garden or available at any garden center
  • Hairspray
  • An urn, glass or cement vessel secure from tipping

Carefully remove all leaves from each flower stem. Spray with a light coat of hairspray and put (gently) to the side.

For a glass vase, I like to fill it half way with hazelnuts. For urns or cement vases, simply crumple newspaper in the bottom or fill partially with dirt if it is to be an outdoor arrangement. This arrangement makes a fabulous outdoor bouquet in an urn on your patio or porch.

Begin arranging the bouquet by alternating Oak branches and Hydrangea stems, using more Hydrangeas than Oak branches.  The bouquet should be tight and full. If you are using glass, top off the arrangement with extra hazelnuts to the rim of the vase, if necessary, for a finished look.

This simple project is a great way to enjoy your fall garden, inside or outside. Make it your signature fall bouquet. Have fun with it, make it your own and use your backyard as your inspiration!

And there you have it.