Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hooray for Hydrangeas


All Hydrangeas in this garden bloom blue, unless they are near a limestone rock, in which case they fade to lavender or sometimes pinker.



There are only three cultivars in this garden: a mophead that has been grown around here for fifty years, a 'Woodlanders' Hydrangea Serrata that was a pink lacecap when I bought it, turning blue by the next year,


and 'Mariesii Variegata' that were cuttings from Miss Billie who said, "Just stick them in the ground, they'll root." Six cuttings rooted. I killed three by moving them at the wrong time to the wrong place.




I planted some beds with both hydrangeas and azaleas.
Eventually southern azaleas crowd and shade out hydrangeas,
and I make different arrangements. These are planted with azaleas
and some native hypericum which offered itself.

Local Gardeners tell me they tried Endless Summer Hydrangea and were not impressed with its performance. I guess not. It was developed so that gardeners farther north could enjoy the summer blooms that we in the deepest South have known for years with the old cultivars passed from garden to garden.


Hydrangeas play well with others like daylilies, coneflower, lilies, camellias, loropetalum and crinums.



Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at http://www.seedscatterer.blogspot.com/ in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where Magnolia and Gardenias perfume the humid air and none of the Crape Myrtles have Hydrangea companions.

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful hydrangeas. I love the bed with so many plants blooming. Did you say that you took a cutting off of a hydrangea and it rooted by placing it in the ground.

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  2. Very unfair. I cannot grow hydrangea, azalea, or peony. At least you get to grow the hydrangea and azalea.

    I did once have a white lacecap, which I loved.

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  3. Thanks, Darla.

    It is really possible to just take a cutting and place it in soil, Becca. The soil needs to be constantly moist until it roots. One day soon I'll show the hydrangea cutting that took root by the birdbath and is now eating the birdbath AND the elephant ears.

    Janie, You can grow hydrangeas in containers. Azaleas, too.

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  4. Can't tell you how much I like the look of your 'Mariesii Variegata' -- outstanding.

    The hydrangeas aren't bad either. lol

    donna

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  5. I love seeing that Hydrangeas are beginning to bloom. Mine won't start for another couple of weeks. I just love the old fashioned blue ones.

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  6. How wonderful that you don't have to add acid to your soil. My Endless Summer's need periodic acid treatments throughout the season. I have a blue lacecap that hasn't bloomed in three years. So, I envy yours!!

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  7. I'm drooling over your beautiful "BLUE' hydrangeas...just gorgeous! I have two very small ones that I nurse along, but they bloom pink. I think that means I have alkaline soil...I guess I need to sprinkle some...what is it? Azalea fertilizer or epsom salts?

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  8. Stunning post, I adore blue hydrangeas. Our conditions turn them pink, so I have yet to plant any like these (I'm sticking to white for now). I had always wondered if there was a variegated hydrangea, now I know. :)

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  9. Oh, I love that row of beautiful blue hydrangeas. Why is it that we always want what we can't have? or would have to struggle to have?

    I would have to feed an acid additive to get that blue!

    My Endless Summer is pink and for the first time in about 3-4 years has lots of blooms. Maybe she is just a slow starter! I was about ready to eliminate her from the bed.....Annabelle is looking great this year.

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  10. I like seeing the hydrangeas and daylilies together, something I rarely see around here. (Hmm, maybe that's because most of our hydrangeas around here are pink and they would clash!) I wish I had the right light for hydrangeas. I have a few of them but they get shade until mid afternoon, then that hot sun cooks them. Ah well, I'll keep trying. I love your beds.

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  11. Oh, those blue color is so real! Just love it! Is acid soil the reason of the color turning to blue?

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  12. Ami and Susan, Acid soil is the reason hydrangeas bloom blue. Alkaline soil prevents the uptake of aluminum, which is responsible for the blue. MIL always said, 'put lime around them to make hydrangeas pink, put SMUT around them to make them blue.' I think she mean soot from the chimney, not pornographic literature, LOL. Now the hort people recommend using aluminum sulfate in the exact proportions recommended.

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  13. Wow! Really beautiful! I like the combination of the hydrangeas with the daylilies. Your garden looks like a wonderful place to sit in the shade with a lovely breeze and cool iced tea. I wish I were there right now!!!

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  14. Hi Nell. Did you hear me ewwing and ahhing? What beauties and my favorite. I so love the variegated ones and wish I could take a chance in growing them in my zone 5. They look so pretty with your orange lilies.

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  15. Green with envy, that I am. My alkaline soil turns Hydrangeas pink, and those are quite pretty, but I guess the grass is always greener. Or, bluer. Your hydrangeas are gorgeous.

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  16. Love the blue! Absolutely stunning (and to me, much preferable to pink). Amazing yours are blooming already, we still have a month to go, I think...

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  17. I love those blue lace-cap hydrangeas. Sure wish they were hardy this far north; but, alas, they're not, so please publish more photos of yours for me to enjoy! -Jean

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I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.



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