Hydrangeas were my mother’s favorite flower and landscape shrub and she was a strong influence for me to include hydrangeas in my garden. I now have 40 separate plants on a pie-shaped .73 acre lot. Most I have purchased outright to get different varieties, and about 10 or so are propagated, something I learned how to do from Master Gardener workshops.
A large factor on hydrangeas will perform is up to Mother Nature. A dip in temperature in the spring — a late frost will devastate the summer performance of many hydrangeas. Knowing the type of hydrangeas you have, where it will thrive, its sun requirements and ultimately how to prune correctly are essential for profuse blooms.
In Delaware, Zone 7b, we had a very wet, soggy spring and no late frosts! The result: a blooming bonanza for Hydrangeas! July will bring the paniculatas such as Limelight, Little Limelight and Little firelight.
I just bought my 40th hydrangea shrub. That may or may not seem like a lot unless I factor in my .73 acre lot! There isn’t a garden center in the area I haven’t patronized!
Some recent redesigning of our landscape, including the removal of a diseased tree and a long narrow raised bed along a fence line, provided an excuse to go out and fill up my backseat and haul home new family members.
At the onset of my hydrangea condition, I wasn’t very good at chronicling what I purchased. I tried. I’d collect the plastic labels or containers, neatly stack them in the garage whereupon my husband would toss them out in the trash. Many of my earliest cultivars are mysteries.
One is this beautiful lacecap! In 2007 my husband and I traveled to Pennsylvania to visit his mother on Mother’s Day and we stopped by a local nursery to get her something for her front yard. She didn’t have any hydrangeas and we both fell in love with a stunning 2ft tall blue lacecap, just loaded with the most intensely blue blooms. We got one for his mother and one for me to take home. I planted her facing south, probably not the best idea, but we have enough trees in the front yard to provide some shade. The heat is what gets her, rather than sun, so we have to be generous with the water.
Delaware in USDA Zone 7b has of late had its share of late frost in early spring. My blue beauty, now nearly 5 ft tall is vulnerable and can only boast three or four show-stopping years in her blooming career. The last few have been duds. But 2018 is a good recovery year! She’s started off with a good showing of azure blossoms, some with the flat pan in the middle, others with it missing. I might never learn the cultivar, but I call her Marian’s Pennsylvania Pretty, in honor of my mother-in-law who we lost in 2008.