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Friday Favorite: Hydrangeas

July 1st, 2011

If I had to pick one flower to be my favorite it would have to be a hydrangea. If I had to pick a specific hydrangea it would have to be ‘Annabelle’. I don’t know what it is about them, perhaps the wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Maybe it’s the way they will bloom in different colors depending on the pH of the soil. Or maybe it’s just the fact that they’re so easy and carefree. One of the reasons I have so many is because my gardens are 75% shady and hydrangeas love this.

I think one of my first official plant purchases was an ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea. Two of the hydrangeas in my garden were here when we moved in and were in kind of a sad state. They’re both planted a little too close the house and should be moved, but the thought of digging up 15 year old hydrangeas has never been very appealing to me.

I’ve been collecting hydrangeas for quite a while adding to my collection throughout the years. I have hydrangeas of all shapes and sizes from a huge 12 foot tall ‘Limelight’ to a few new ones that won’t bloom for a year or two. I have hydrangeas that bloom in June, some that bloom all summer long and some that wait until fall to produce their showy blossoms. I have hydrangeas from all the varieties: mophead, lacecap, panicle, and oakleaf. I have pink ones, blue ones, red ones and white ones. I have some that bloom in early summer, some that bloom all summer long, and some that bloom in the fall.

I should take a count, but I think I have around 25 hydrangeas in my garden. I’ll have to try to get some photos of each one at the height of it’s bloom so you can see them all. This year I have added 10 news ones (not all different varieties) and those most likely won’t bloom for a year or two.

One of the only things I dislike about hydrangeas is that most of them are sterile, they do not produce seeds for the birds, or pollen or nectar for the bees. Oakleaf hydrangeas do produce lots of pollen though, so the bees love them. If you’re looking for a hydrangea for your garden that’s useful and beautiful try an oakleaf. They’re also less picky about having enough moisture, they actually prefer it on the dry side. I’ve also noticed that they can take more sun.

If you had to choose one, what would be your favorite flower?

19 Comments to “Friday Favorite: Hydrangeas”
  1. Katrina on July 1, 2011 at 7:19 am

    My favorite too! Your’s are beautiful.

    Reply to Katrina's comment

  2. Melissa on July 1, 2011 at 7:52 am

    I’ve found I really love lacecaps! I need to get one for my yard. The only hydrangea I have was inherited when we bough the house and I don’t know what kind it is! I’m planning to add a few next year in my shade garden that I’m working on!

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  3. Candie on July 1, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I just planted one this year but im not sure that its getting enough water. How often should I be watering it?

    Reply to Candie's comment

    • Susy on July 1, 2011 at 8:58 am

      I’d make sure it’s getting a good soaking at least once a week. If we haven’t gotten any rain in a week or more I often will set the hose to drip and leave it on one shrub overnight, then on to the next etc.

      How much water they will need depends on how loamy your soil is and how much sun each shrub gets. We have sandy soil that dries out quickly and the ones I have that get a lot afternoon sun need more water than the ones that get morning sun. Don’t worry if they get wilted in the afternoon sun as long as they don’t stay wilted. Check them in the morning, if they’ve perked back up their fine. If they’re still wilted the next morning give them a good soaking.

      A good layer of mulch around each shrub will also help them retain more moisture.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Candie on July 5, 2011 at 9:40 am

        That is very helpful thanks!!

        to Candie's comment

  4. Allison on July 1, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Gorgeous! I love hydrangeas too. If I had to pick though, I’d say Tulips or Sunflowers are my favorite…..Lilacs trailing close behind ;)

    Reply to Allison's comment

  5. Misti on July 1, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Hydrangeas and roses always make me think of my grandmother!

    Reply to Misti's comment

  6. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on July 1, 2011 at 10:06 am

    My mum and dad had lots of hydrangeas in our garden when I was growing up so they’re a really symbolising-childhood shrub/flower to me.

    My favourite flowers are sweet peas & freesia alba – but I’m growing neither this year for some reason (I usually have pots of sweet peas about the place but not this year, not sure why).

    Reply to louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife's comment

  7. MAYBELLINE on July 1, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Can’t do it.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  8. goatpod2 on July 1, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I don’t know if I could pick a favorite but I always like pansies.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  9. Kerry on July 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Your hydrangeas are so pretty! My mom’s always looked sickly from the sun.

    I don’t think I can really pick one plant above all else, as there are so many different forms of pretty, but I love lilacs!

    Reply to Kerry's comment

  10. Michelle @ give a girl a fig on July 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I am so with you…I LOVE hydrangeas! When we moved into our home my first purchase was a Japanese Maple…my favorite tree ever. Then…I bought a hydrangea. We recently purchases two more and planted them along the back fence. They’re adjusting to their new space…but I think they’re going to be quite happy. It’s moist…shady…with a bit of dappled light. We shall see!

    Reply to Michelle @ give a girl a fig's comment

  11. Grace on July 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I have climbing hydrangea that came with the house. I love how it climbs up the tree. I layered some shoots to see if they root so I can cut them to start new ones, but I hear they’re quick finicky. (I’m not sure if layered is the correct term).

    I’m not sure what my favorite flower is, there are too many to pick just one. Some I love for their look, others for their smell, and others for what they attract (hummingbirds etc).

    Reply to Grace's comment

  12. Sincerely, Emily on July 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I just can’t pick one! No way! I mostly seem to love flowery things that I can’t grow here and wish I could. Things I grew up with that have many memories attached to them…Lily of the Valley, Peony, Lilac. BUT there are so many nice things that do flower here in So.TX (some even in my gardens) and I am finding new things all the time that I want to plant. Flame Acanthus, Thyrallis, Salvia Gregii, Esperanza. Sorry, I couldn’t hold back…listed more than one. Your hydrangeas are lovely….I long for those too. Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  13. Whit on July 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    What a beautiful problem to have…”too many” hydrangeas. :)

    For the reasons you mention regarding birds and bees, i’d have to say that the purple coneflower and lavendar are my favourite decorative flowers. Cherry tree and boysenberry flowers are my favourite “mass producers”. :)

    Reply to Whit's comment

  14. Mistresseve on July 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Been thinking about it all day, and I can’t do it; it’s like trying to pick a favorite child.
    Your bushes are beautiful, by the way. They remind me of my grandmother as well.

    Reply to Mistresseve's comment

  15. Renee on July 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Your hydrangeas are gorgeous!

    I would say my favorite flower is the Columbine.

    Reply to Renee's comment

  16. Billie on July 5, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I love your hydrangeas! They are beautiful.

    I love daylilies – particularly the deep red ones.

    Reply to Billie's comment

  17. Janine at Rustic Kitchen on July 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Like you, Susy, I am in love with hydrangeas. I have a couple Annabelles, an oakleaf and two endless summer bride’s veil, which turn from the palest pink to a deep magenta in fall. I also had a mature hydrangea too close to the front stairs, to the point it looked like a half globe. I bit the bullet, and after both my parents helped extricate it, spades heaving, it is flourishing in its new home in all its full-globe glory.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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