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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?

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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.