When you think of Hydrangea, is your first thought leafy bushes with huge bright blue flowers? Mid-summer you can find their bright blooms in almost every garden. Stop by Woodbridge Nurseries to see in person several varieties that are sure to delight. In addition to the original Endless Summer with its blue to pink colored flowers, we have lace-cap, white blooms, and the native Oakleaf which blooms white then graces your garden with fall color.
For early blooms, plant Quick Fire hydrangeas. They bloom about a month earlier than hardy hydrangea varieties. Since Quick Fire flowers bloom white, they are not affected by soil pH. Their blooms quickly turn pink, and by autumn will become dark rose-pink. Like most hydrangeas, they are produced on new growth and will bloom after even the harshest winters.
The Oakleaf Hydrangea gets its name from the shape of its beautiful large leaves. It is one of the few hydrangeas native to the United States.
The Oakleaf hydrangea is a dramatic, white-blooming shrub with four seasons of interest. The blooms of most Oakleaf hydrangeas gradually take on a pink tint as they age. The foliage is dark green above, silvery beneath and with cooling autumn nights, provide nice color. Oakleaf hydrangeas thrive with very little attention. Just be sure to keep it's soil well-drained, as it can get root rot in aheart-beat if it stands in soggy soil even for short periods.
Plant Lime Light for bright chartreuse blooms that hold their color right into autumn, then change to a rich deep pink...breathtaking. reliable flowering and flower color regardless of soil pH. The large flower heads range from 6 to 16 inches and are held upright on the shrub. It can grow 6 – 8 feet tall.
Pinky Winky's large summer flowers open white and change to pink, with new white flowers appearing on the same panicle (flower head) as older pink flowers. It has dark green foliage. Pinky Winky is adaptable to many soils, moderate moisture required, will bloom regardless of climate, soil, pH or pruning. It can be easily maintained as a smaller plant or trained into a small tree.
Little Lamb is a sweet compact hardy Hydrangea with pure white flowers withthe smallest and most delicate flowers of any Hydrangea. These little flowers may turn pink in the fall. Use Little Lamb in bouquets either fresh or dried to make a unique floral design. This is an easy to grow plant with reliable flowering andflower color regardless of soil pH.
The repeat blooms of Endless Summer®The Original truly offer gardeners an endless summer of incredible color. Endless Summer® The Original has the unique ability to produce spectacular pink or blue blooms depending on the pH makeup of your soil. An alkaline soil produces pink flowers, while an acid soil produces blue flowers (you can buy a soil pH testing kit to test your soil). It is possible to manipulate the color of hydrangeas, but one word of caution: many people have killed their plants by applying too much aluminum sulfate. More is not better. Adding large amounts of organic matter, such as peat moss and composted leaves, will acidify the soil as it breaks down.
Also created by Endless Summer®, Blushing Bride is a new Hydrangea macrophylla. Pure white blooms with semi-double florets gradually mature to a sweet, pink blush. Reliably blooming on both old and new growth, you can experience the beauty of again and again, all summer long. Remove spent flowers to encourage rebloom. The disease and mildew-resistant foliage is an attractive dark green, providing a striking background for Blushing Bride’s mophead blooms. Strong stems and branches keep the plant sturdy and upright in the garden, and make it a perfect flower for cutting.
This year Endless Summer® introduced Twist-n-Shout, an extraordinary reblooming lacecap hydrangea. Twist-n-Shout’s gorgeous season-long blooms, vivid color, sturdy red stems and deep green foliage flowers steadily all summer.
Basic Hydrangea Care:
Most Hydrangeas bloom mid-summer and prefer full sun to partial shade. Pruning should be done in late fall or early spring, since they bloom on new growth. Dead head once spent flowers turn brown. Most plants will tolerate drought. So beautiful and easy to grow, Hydrangeas make excellent cut flowers, and dry easily as well. They require little care, other than watering for the first year to help their roots get established, plus end-of-season pruning.
Some Hydrangeas have a unique quality...you can change their color. Other than white and cream hydrangeas, flower color is determined by the plants consumption of aluminum, which is either helped or hindered by the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. For example, some old fashioned tricks include “mulching” with used coffee grounds to neutralize the acid level in the soil for pink flowers.
Each year the Perennial Plant Association determines that one plant, above all others, deserves special distinction. The plant chosen as the 2009 Perennial Plant of the Year® is Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola', a member of the Poaceae family, commonly known as Golden Japanese Forest Grass.
Native to Japan, Golden Japanese Forest Grass is a long-season ornamental grass known for the color of its foliage and its cascading arches. A slight breeze will stir this grass. Large plantings will undulate like a golden ocean swaying to and fro. Individual blades measure 1/2" wide and are a bright yellow color with very thin green stripes. Each plant grows 12 to 18 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide. Notable qualities:
So versatile it may be used as a ground cover, a border-front specimen, as a mass planting, or spill over the side of a patio container.
Its bright color uniquely adds vivid highlights to shaded areas and to evening gardens.
It is shade tolerant with few insect or disease problems
Not favored by deer.
Bestows autumn color when its golden foliage becomes tinged with shades of pink and red as the temperature cools.
Low maintenance, just cutting back the dead leaves in late winter or early spring.
Good to Know:
It is hardy to USDA zones 5-9.
Partial shade is the optimum location in hot climates while more sun is suitable in cooler areas
Produces tiny, inconspicuous flower spikes from late summer through mid autumn
Prefers moist, humus-rich, and well-drained soil, so it will not grow well in poorly drained soil, heavy clay soil, or very dry soils.
To reduce the golden leaf color, plant in deep shade.
Spreads so slowly by stolons that it is not a threat to nearby plants and won't require division for many years.
Garden Placement Ideas: Golden Japanese Forest Grass has a combination of golden leaves with green stripes which make it a fantastic companion to hostas, especially those with hostas that have a golden edge or a bluish cast. Excellent complements to golden hakone grass include any purple or dark leafed plant, astilbe, epimedium, wild ginger, bleeding heart or lady's mantle.
As a container plant, golden hakone grass adds a lot of charm as it cascades over the sides like a waterfall. It is also especially useful as an edging plant where it can cascade into a path. This ornamental grass is an excellent addition to an Asian-style garden or can be used to provide a somewhat tropical look and feel. Any dark or drab area of the garden will benefit from golden hakone grass. When planted in mass the entire area glows like thousands of lightning bugs on a dark summer's night. For those gardeners who always go for the gold this will be a medal winner in the garden.
For over 20 years I have been sharing my passion for plants and gardening by operating a retail garden center and offering some of my favorite plant varieties to everyone who happens to stop by. I have enjoyed meeting many different people over the years and there are many that I now consider dear friends.