I love Hydrangea.
They give perhaps more blooms
Than any other flowers
In my garden.
But the last few years
Have not been great Hydrangea years.
Warm early springs
Followed by late cold snaps
Have limited the blooms for the last three or so years.
It’s one of the most disappointing things I know
Frozen Hydrangea buds!
This year the Hydrangea Gods aligned
Blessing us with an abundance of blooms.
All over town.
My friend Karen who was about to dig up her Hydrangea
Gleefully texted a picture in June
Announcing “They’re blooming!”
Abundant blooms equals abundant questions
Because people want to add them to their gardens.
So here’s a little primer of what I know about Hydrangea.
Old fashioned Macrophyllia or Mophead Hydrangea bloom on “old wood”.
These are the most susceptible to those late spring freezes.
Yet they are spectacular plants
So don’t cast them out.
Just provide them with a little more northern protection
The newer are sold under the commercial brand of “Endless Summer.”
They bloom on new and old wood,
So your chances of getting lots of blooms are greatly increased.
I’ve made room for plenty of both in my garden.
I’ll never confess just how many I have.
Hydrangea are happiest with morning sun
And afternoon shade in warmer zones like mine.
My front bed started in the shade
But became full sun with the death of a pine tree’
The results is that the blooms don’t last as long.
They fry a little
Actually a lot some years.
Like this year.
I spent a couple of evenings this week
Cutting off the crispy blooms
And taking them to their final resting place.
The compost pile.
They will have a second – lesser bloom cycle
Later in the summer.
Meanwhile those living in the shade
Of the back yard cedar trees
Continue to bloom and bloom.
Then there’s my new friend, Annabelle.
It’s an old variety
That I discovered a few years ago.
Mine are all planted in mostly shade.
Their white bloom begins in June
Over the next month they turn to
This wonderful green.
It’s a color I love in the garden
And it’s not easy to get
So I get a little excited when they bloom.
Nature is such an artist.
As the spring pink hydrangeas
Take on a dusty late summer hue
They compliment the purple coneflower
Dahlias and other late summer stars.
I pull them all together
To make wonderful arrangements.
And if you plant enough Hydrangea
You’ll have blooms
Till it freezes.
So that’s what I know.
Hydrangeas give and give
And they play well with others.
We can all take a lesson from them.
Stay cool and enjoy the week.