Hydrangeas are some of my favorite flowers to work with. They are absolutely stunning and endlessly classic. Not to mention, they are incredibly forgiving – i.e.: you don’t have to be a professional to put together a gorgeous bouquet. The first step is to find a great wholesaler. This way you’ll pay around three dollars a stem versus ten to fifteen dollars a stem at independent florists. Next – as soon as your flowers arrive, store them in a cool dark place until you are ready to work with them – be sure not to wait too long! The main thing you need to know about working with hydrangeas is that they LOVE water. They cannot get enough of it. Unfortunately their stems are quite brittle, so they tend to dry out extremely quickly once they have been cut. However, if properly cared for, cut hydrangeas can last for up to two weeks in a vase. The first step is to saturate the blooms. This is the secret to long lasting, gorgeous hydrangeas. I fill my kitchen sink with cold water, throw in a bucket of ice, and submerge all the blooms for up to an hour. This will open the flowers up and give your hydrangeas most of the hydration they need. Next, cut the stems under cool running water at an angle. This allows the hydrangeas to continue absorbing water through the stem. Finally, arrange as you like and make sure all the stems are fully submerged in water. I love to arrange five blooms in mid-sized julep cups for my guest rooms. I use three stems in small julep cups for our bathrooms – and for our entryway, I usually use about fifteen blooms – barely cut – for a dramatic and tall arrangement.