My car is filled to the roof with over 200 glorious hydrangea heads, their stems stripped of leaves, ready to take to the Country Living Fair this week. This afternoon my husband pruned the Virginia creeper so that I can take the stems to the fair and twist them into a wreath base for my eucalyptus and the hydrangea blooms. If you have Virginia creeper or other vines, cut some lengths this week and allow them to dry and by December you will have a good base for a wreath.  I will write a post about making wreaths nearer to Christmas.

Whenever I look at hydrangeas, with their painterly petals, I am reminded of an exquisite little watercolour by Cezanne, last seen in this country in the huge exhibition in the 1990s, of Hortense Fiquet (Cezanne’s wife) with Hortensias – the French word for hydrangeas. The hydrangeas are washed with a pale violet, and the intimate little sketch of Hortense lying in bed is more tenderly rendered than any of the great portraits for which she sat.

You can see this painting at http://www.paul-cezanne.org/Madame-Cezanne-(Hortense-Fiquet)-With-Hortensias.html

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