2018: Summer of Hydrangeas

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.

We replaced most of our Knock-out roses in the front of our home with plants like this “Little Limelight” which won’t get as big as regular Limelight and loves the sun the front of our house receives.

Hydrangeas are beautiful inside too! Bring them indoors! Accented here with lavender spires and lemon balm

Hydrangea “Sikes Dwarf”
So many blooms in 2018, there is plenty to snow and take inside. Sprigs of lemon balm add a soft green accent. The tiny white flower is “pearly everlasting.” By mid summer, dill and parsley are starting seed heads and these add interest to a bouquet!

I call this mom’s hydrangea. This was one of the pink hot house flowers the florists delivered at my mother’s funeral. I planted it in 2001 where it grew for three years before blooming. This shrub is 17 years old and is the most vulnerable in the winter. It faces east. This year it has come back nicely.

I don’t know the name of this hydrangea as it was mislabeled by the home improvement garden center. I thought it would be a white schneeball, but it’s first blossoms were pink and white. All following years produced this blue and cream white blossom. I don’t know the cultivar but I love the old-fashioned look. It is always a reliable bloomer. Faces south but it is shaded by large trees from direct sun.

This is a variety I purchased from the mail order catalog Wayside Gardens. I wasn’t good about writing down the cultivars. I’ve asked them to see if my purchase from 10 years ago is still on record. These blossoms start out white and transition to pink and rose. A beautiful water color effect.
This beauty was one of two my husband and I purchased at a garden center in Pennsylvania in 2006. One was for my mother -in-law, and I loved it so much he got one for me! I was so bad then about saving the labels. It is planted where it gets afternoon sun (not the best place) so we have to baby it and water it generously. It is a delightful frame for our front porch and is a true blue performer!
Hydrangea quercifolia “Snow Queen” looking up through the blossoms!
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