My Hydrangea Obsession

I’ve written about why I became interested in growing hydrangeas and I wonder now if it has gotten a little out of hand! Yesterday, I walked my three-quarter acre property and tallied up my hydrangea collection. Seventy-nine (2021) and counting! Here’s the list!

4-Little Limelight – local nursery

3-Macrophyllas lacecap 2 blues, 1 purple

1-Purple lacecap from above, successful layering

1-Forever and Everyone “Peppermint” 2011 a rebloomers

5-Schnee balls macrophylla, (white blooms, ruffled blossoms) 2011

1-Schnee ball successful layering and blooming 2021

1-Limelight panicle

1-Mom’s hydrangea (funeral bouquet 2001)

1-Oak-leaf Ruby Slippers (2004)

4-Mariesii variegated

1-Little Quick Fire Proven Winners (2016) local nursery

1-Oakleaf Syke’s Dwarf

3-Blue Billows Mountain Hydrangea – original parents Wayside Garden

2-Endless Summer (ES) Let’s Dance Blue Jangles (2019)

5-Macrophyllas propagated from cuttings (2018)

1-Walmart rescue (purple) (2018)

1-Gift macrophylla propagation (2019)

1-Vanilla strawberry (2017)

3- Proven Winners Tuff Stuff Ah ha, double bloomer (2019)

1-Annabelle (2015) MG Plant Sale

3-Macrophyllas unknown variety, traditional

2-ES variety unknown. Slow growing. Has a very tight, pagoda shaped bloom.

8-Blue billows mountain by propagation from original parents

1-hydrangea serrata kiyosumi turns all kinds of colors. Small dainty lacecaps

1-Mountain lacecap Greywood – Wayside Gardens (2002)

1-Oak-leaf Snow Queen (2017)

1-Mystery layering

1-Pinky Winky (2018) Local nursery

2-Nikko Blue (2002)

2-Incrediball h.arborescens

2-Pistachio

2-City Line Rio (transplanted from sun to shade in 2018. Currently growing but not blooming).

1-Merritt’s Supreme (2017)

2-Oak-leaf “Snowflake” double bloomer (in transit 2019)

1-Summer crush (2020) purchased at Lowes post season. Bloomed very pink in 2021.

1- “Alice” Oakleafs Hydrangea. Purchased at Willey’s Farm, Townsend, Del. post season in 2020. Looking forward to blooms in 2021.

1-Bloomstruck macrophylla

1-Strawberry Sundae (2020)

1-Bobo panicle hydrangea (2020)

1-Gatsby Star Oakleaf hydrangea (2021) Proven Winners purchased from UDBG plant sale

1-Shooting Star (double-bloomer) lacecaps macrophylla Lowes

1-Proven Winners Tuff Stuff serrata “Red” (2021)

1-Haas Halo – native arborenscens lacecap recommended by Mt. Cuba Center as a pollinator favorite (2021)
END

1-Lacecap “Bethany” a gift from a Master Gardener

Five layerings in progress. We’ll see how many make it! 

I’ve obtained these specimens from local nurseries, mail order, propagation from friends, and those I have created myself from layerings and cuttings! I currently have a dozen cuttings in a tub and it looks like all but two will make it!

The challenge now is to find a place for all of these. I would say half of my collection is small and in that “getting established” period of its life.

Back when I did not know what I was doing, I planted some macrophyllas in high heat, strong sun locations. Most are doing okay, but take daily and sometimes twice-a-day waterings. I doubt at this stage they would take to transplanting, but in leaving them where I have, I am creating additional work for myself down the line. I have taken layering and cutting samples from all of these, as I may try to replace them with paniculata.

Here are some of my favorite photos:

Little Quick Fire panicle hydrangea

Proven Winners Little Quick Fire panicle
Variegated Mariesii. This layers very easily. Much of the new growth is not variegated.

Blue and cream flowers on CityLine “Mars” or

Proven Winners City Line “Mars” It was purchased pink and now blooms in this beautiful, bright blue!

Wet and white! Schnee or Snow along the fence line. They are a macrophylla with deep, dark green foliage.

Oakleafs hydrangea Endless Summer. I wish I knew the variety. These blooms are very tight, curled and never form round shapes. They stay in this flat pagoda shape.

Limelight has become one of my most favorite plants. I heavily prune in early March.

I love to bring hydrangeas indoors. Here I have limelight arranged with a base of Philodendron Selloum. Both last a long time in a vase.

Various vases of my hydrangeas!

I transplanted this Strawberry Sunday from a container to the ground. Doing this interrupted its bloom schedule. But the plant sent me a message with this one, singular bloom, that I had made a good decision and I can look forward to more blooms like this in 2021.

Ruby Slippers earlier in the summer. Compare the spacing of the florets to the Snow Queen below. Bees love this hydrangea!

Oakleaf hydrangea. Either Sykes Dwarf or Snow Queen

A hot house hydrangea grown into a large blue shrub
This was a pink florist hydrangea bouquet that was purchased for my mother’s funeral in 2001. It took 3 years to grow before it bloomed this deep, purply blue!

 

Unknown blue macrophylla in foreground. Oakleaf “Syke’s Dwarf” in background.

 

For me a “generic” macrophylla, planted before I knew to record the variety!

Pistachio. This delicate little thing is a slow grower, but has stayed in the pink and rose hues. 

Proven Winners “Incrediball” hydrangea arborescens. These can be pruned heavily in the early spring.

A young Merritt’s Supreme blossom! It shifted from pink to lavender purple its first year,

Unknown big leaf lacecap. Maybe blaumaise?

 

Oakleaf, I believe is Snow Queen is decidedly lime in July first summer bloom!I love the early lime color! 

 

Pinky Winky
Pinky Winky first year in the ground! Wiley’s Market Middletown, Delaware

Little Quick Fire July
Vanilla Strawberry or Strawberry Sundae from Wayside Gardens mail order order

Ruby Slippers oakleaf. Last year, I did not water this faithfully and it went from white to brown quickly this year I am watering it every day and it helps sustain the pink part of its season.
Little Lime in early July. Despite its 4 foot maximum height, mine are shooting up stems that are over 5 feet! Mislabeled perhaps? It received a shaping pruning in early March.

May Traffic at the Pink Bucket Inn

Nothing enhances a landscape more than the wildlife and birds who stop by for a visit and enjoy the growth as well as the human contributions such as this birdseed tossed inside a pink bucket left over from 2020. The songs and chirps add to the serene and lively soundtrack of my garden, not to mention the biological control of these birds as they feed on both bird feeders and the growing insect population that ushers in in May!

Walfred Photography

Beach traffic at the Pink Bucket Inn in Lewes is steady. Word-by-beak must be spreading!

A House Finch family arrives to teach their youngin’ how to eat seed properly!

She clearly was having none of it. She squawked the whole time with her mouth opened, determined to have her parent feed her. First she appealed to her father.

Then entreated her mother for treats. Ah to no avail at first

Finally, her mother gave it. Anything to keep the little one quiet!

The commotion brought the attention of this catbird, who cleared away the finches so she could dine in peace.

The catbird left, but soon brought back its mate!

A surprise visit from this youthful rose-breasted grosbeak was a big treat for me! My irst-ever photo and observation of this bird! I haven’t seen it since

Just left of where the pink bucket sits on this deck ledge, I…

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The Pink Bucket Inn

Keeping a garden simply increases one’s appreciation for the surrounding wildlife. The view out my backyard is currently blossoming with birds!

Walfred Photography

As a novice birdwatcher, one of the trickiest parts of photographing birds is not scaring them. And birdwatching from home is especially so. The minute you see activity in your feeders, just try and grab your camera and get outside without causing flight!

However, I stumbled onto a new technique.


Outside my home office, I have a small deck and deck railings. Last year I used a pink planter/pail/bucket filled with soil to hold mosquito sticks in place. Last week, I was outside replenishing my bird feeders and passed by the neglected pail and decided to put a handful of mixed seed on top of the soil.


I was rewarded with lots of visitors. From my desk chair, I can get to my camera and shoot through one of the panes of glass in my sliding door window. The birds (and squirrels) don’t seem to see me, and thanks to…

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Introducing Master Gardener Minute

Being a social media enthusiast (I graduated from the University of Delaware  Social Media Strategic Social Media Marketing course in 2014) I kicked around some ideas to share Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener program on various platforms.

Working with county agents, we developed the idea of a Master Gardener Minute, using the hashtag #MGMinute. One minute or under, the short informative video series will cover popular garden topics at a length suitable for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well as YouTube.

Yesterday, I shot a few segments with Delaware Master Gardener Wendy Ferranti and here is the first roll out. What do you think? What future topics would you like to see?

Growing fresh foods with the New Castle County Master Gardeners

So proud of the partnerships Delaware Master Gardeners cultivates. Gardens are meant to share with others! Read this lovely article from the Food Bank of Delaware blog! Kudos to all for what you do!

Food Bank of Delaware

New Castle County Master Gardeners have been working hard all summer tending to their demonstration garden outside the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension office in Newark.

Produce grown in the garden is donated to the Food Bank and Little Sisters of the Poor. Last year, the group donated close to 900 pounds!

Master Gardener Rick Judd leads the group of dedicated volunteers who spend time weeding, watering, pruning, harvesting and more to make sure the demonstration garden is in tip-top shape. The garden serves three purposes – teaches the community best practices for vegetable and fruit gardening, shows how easy it is to compost and provides an opportunity for Master Gardeners to donate fresh foods to Delawareans in need.

The 288-square-foot garden has produced more than 300 pounds of food for the Food Bank so far this year. Rick says the gardeners are now harvesting some of their heaviest crops…

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Grilling on Fourth of July? Try lemon balm pesto.

The answer to my prayers! I have lemon balm growing everywhere! Participating on Monday’s #gardenchat on Twitter, I discovered this recipe and cannot wait to try it!

MissingHenryMitchell

The Fourth of July is a big day for grilling in the US–although just about any summertime evening when it isn’t storming makes a pretty compelling candidate. I love grilling foods, from meats, fish, and shellfish to vegetables and fruits. More than that, I like to create my own marinades and sauces with the herbs I grow. If you’re looking for something fresh, summery, and different that’s also extremely easy to make, give my lemon balm pesto a try.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is an herb in the mint family. Its small white flowers attract bees and other pollinators, but you’ll be drawn by the lemony scent of the foliage as you brush it with your fingers. It is reputed to be effective as a mosquito repellant when the leaves are rubbed on the skin. But more than all of that, you’ll like the bright…

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