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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?

New Plants for the Garden

April 5th, 2011

Now that I have more doubled my garden area I need to start getting plants to fill the new part. I’ll propagate most of them myself from plants I already have or from mom’s plants which will save me a lot of money. It will take longer for these plants to grow and mature, but gardening isn’t about instant gratification. I’ll also start a lot of plants from seed and divide many of my exciting perennials. I will purchase a few new plants that I’ve been wanting to get, but haven’t had the garden space for.

If you remember, I have a fascination with hydrangeas and have amassed a collection of 10 different varieties so far. I just purchased 3 new varieties to add to my collection: ‘Teller’s Blue’ Hydrangea – a blue lace-cap hydrangea, ‘Princess Beatrix’ Hydrangea – produces beautiful crimson-pink blooms, and ‘Penny Mac’ Hydrangea – will flower in the coldest zones because of its ability to produce flowers on new growth.

I also bought a few tree peonies. Two different varieties ‘Ge Jin Zi’ or Purple Kudzu Scarf and ‘Wu Long Peng Sheng’ also known as Black Dragon Holds a Splendid Flower. I’m super excited for these as I’ve been wanting to get a tree peony for quite a while.

Have you purchased any new plants recently? Any that you’ve been wanting to purchase?

Volunteer Marigolds

September 24th, 2009

I have these volunteer marigolds that grew up in the same spot I had some planted last year. They’re just starting to bloom prolifically and they’re so nice. I’m not a huge fan of marigolds, but they’re so pretty this time of year, they really look nice with all the fall colors that are starting to appear.
As you can see these are growing in a raised bed that I have a makeshift fence around since I have my late beans planted in this bed. I know the deer and the groundhogs would love nothing more than tender bean plants, so I have some chicken wire panels leaned up around it to protect my bean harvest.
When it comes to colors of flowers, I’m much more of a pink/white/purple lover. I’m really happy that my ‘Endless Summer’ Hydrangea is blooming now, despite being mauled by deer this past winter. I was thinking I wouldn’t see any color from it at all.

What colors of flowers are your favorite?

Annabelle Hydrangea

June 24th, 2009

I have always loved hydrangeas, ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas in particular. Mr Chiots bought me one for my birthday last year (remember that packed MINI?). I planted it last year and it’s blooming quite beautifully this year, it seems to be quite happy where it’s planted.
annabelle hydrangea
It’s in my front flowerbed with a grape vine behind it and a ‘Frosty Morn’ Sedum in front of it, a pink peony on one side and a purple balloon flower on the other, it also has a few hollyhocks behind it. It’s definitely a show-stopper in the garden, I love it!

What’s your favorite flowering shrub?

Final Blooms

September 29th, 2008

Most blooming plants are winding down this time of year, I have a few things that are still blooming including my Endless Summer Hydrangea. It just opened last week.

How’s that for a final show?

Reading & Watching

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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.