Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hydrangea time

Oakleaf hydrangeas
Behind the garden wall is the "secret garden". I have tried to keep the flowers
in this area white and oakleaf hydranges are dominant.

I tend to think about our garden as a play with several acts. Act 1 comes with the emergence of Spring and transforms the barren limbs with capes of greenery. The dominant color, besides green, would be yellow (daffodils, kerria, forstyhia, Carolina jessamine). Oddly, we don't have that many azaleas. A slight intermission before Act 2 begins with the roses commanding complete attention for an all-too-brief period before Act 3 which brings on the hydrangeas.

We have a lot of hydrangeas - around 50-60 varieties - and they do exceptionally well in our garden. The hydrangea binge started when we got tired of mowing a sloped area underneath a huge pecan tree. We planted hydrangeas and they did well and we were hooked. I cannot think of a plant that is easier to grow and offers so much in blooms and landscape enhancement. Granted, occasional problems can arise, but rarely.

The hydrangeas will bloom for a long period of time (practically all summer) which is good because the garden during the long hot days of summer is mostly a green affair with the exception of container plants.

Rose "Sea Foam"
The roses are not completely finished yet. "Sea Foam" grows rampantly up a crape myrtle.
On the archway is "Blaze" which blooms throughout the summer.
Oakleaf Hydrangea "Snowflake"
Oakleaf hydrangea "Snowflake" (discovered in Alabama) usually is covered in
blooms during the summer. The show is just beginning for it.
Hydrangea "Annabelle" and Chameleon Plant (Houttuynia cordata)
Also getting ready is Hydrangea "Annabelle". The blooms will turn to pure white in a few weeks.
Planted around it is Chameleon Plant (Houttuynia cordata), a plant
I would not wish on my worst enemy.
Oakleaf hydrangeas
Oakleaf Hydrangea "Sikes Dwarf" and Rose "New Dawn"
Oakleaf hydrangeas are not all big. This is "Sikes' Dwarf" which stays under 4 feet tall.
Rose "New Dawn" is to the left.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

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