Hydrangea Obsession

When I first started gardening I didn’t care for hydrangeas, but the only varieties I was aware of were the old fashioned mopheads that grew in our grandmothers’ gardens. I just didn’t think they were that interesting as a garden plant. However in the past few years I’ve added several hydrangeas to my gardens such as Hydrangea Paniculata “Limelight” (photo on the left) which I posted about earlier this month and my new addition this year is Forever & Ever Hydrangea “Red” which has it’s first bloom. I was so excited when I saw it was starting to open yesterday. It doesn’t quite look red to me yet, but at least it isn’t blue. My other two hydrangeas one which is a lacecap (name unknown) and the other is “Nikko Blue” which is a mophead are blue. The lacecap as I recall was pink when I purchased it from the garden center several years ago, but the second year it bloomed blue. So anyhow, I was curious to see if this would be a pinkish shade. And as you can in the picture to the right it is a deep pink on the outer sepals. Then I made my venture to the Botanical Gardens on Monday and entered Hydrangea Heaven. They had an entire area devoted to dozens of different species and colors of hydrangeas. I fell in love at first sight with several varieties that I would love to have in my own garden in the future. So here are two hydrangeas that I just have to add to my wishlist for next year:

The first is Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Sikes Dwarf’ which I pictured in my GGBD bloom pictures. This is a dwarf oakleaf hydrangea that has green foliage that turns red in the fall. The flower will change from white to pink as it ages. It gets 3-4′ tall and wide and it has a mounding shape. The size of this panicle was stunning. And the delicate pink blooms were pretty.

Another oakleaf variety I was fond of was “Snowflake”. This variety is unique because it has multiple florets or double blooms. This will bloom much longer than the single bloom varieties of oakleaf hydrangea. Now you have to admit this bloom is spectacular. A big plus to the oakleafs are they can withstand more sun and prefer a drier soil than the mopheads and lacecaps. They are also native to the United States which means they will adapt well in my zone 7 garden hopefully. It grows 5-8′ tall and wide and blooms June-July on old wood.

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25 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nancy J. Bond on July 17, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    The oakleafs are very different, and very beautiful.

    Reply

  2. Posted by tina on July 17, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I love that snowflake! That is one I don’t have but hope to soon. The flowers are so lovely.

    Reply

  3. Posted by OhioMom on July 17, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    We have oakleaf hydrangeas in front of our building, they start out white and turn pink, remind me to take a pic for you …. they were planted three years ago and they are very large already, really pretty!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Meadowview Thymes on July 17, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Two questions–do you have your hydrangeas in full shade, and–did you have to amend your soil for them?
    Thanks!
    Linda

    Reply

  5. Posted by Ruth Welter on July 17, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    What a lovely blog you have here…such gorgeous garden photos. I’m an artist that loves to garden as well, I share you passion in that area. I love, love, love my Hydrangeas, they are such happy, carefree flowers that bring a lot of joy to my garden each year.

    Ruth

    Reply

  6. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 17, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    They are unique Nancy. I loved them at first glance. Plus they are native to the U.S. so it makes them a great addition to most gardens.

    I loved the “Snowflake” too Tina. The flower panicle was unique. It would be a great addition to your garden. I hope to add it to mine.

    Please do take some pics Mom. I would love to see them. I bet they are gorgeous when they bloom.

    I have them planted in partial shade Linda. I think they would prefer morning sun with afternoon shade. I have two I might have to move this fall into a better location, because they are getting the opposite light. I didn’t really amend the soil so much as I add organic material and mulch around them yearly. So I guess that is a yes? 🙂 They do like their roots to stay cool and the mopheads and lacecaps prefer moist soil. The panicles like the Limelight and Oakleafs can take drier conditions and more sunlight.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 17, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you Ruth. I’m glad you enjoy my blog and pics. I’m no photographer but I try to take nice pictures even if that means taking a shot a zillion times before I like it. 🙂 Hydrangeas are a great plant that add alot to any garden. Thanks for visiting.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Balisha on July 17, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Hmmmmm….think I need a hydrangea.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 17, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    I think it’s a choice you would never regret making Balisha. They are a real asset to any garden.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Fifi Flowers on July 17, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    My neighbor has huge… beautiful hydrangeas… and they only DIE in my garden… NOT fair!

    Reply

  11. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 17, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    I’m sorry Fifi. You could try again with a hardy hydrangea like Limelight or the Oakleafs. The mopheads and lacecaps are alittle needier. Thanks for visiting.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Pomona Belvedere on July 17, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    I had seen a few pictures of these different hydrangeas in nursery catalogues–but this has really whetted my appetite and taught me more about the different kinds–thanks!

    Fifi–it’s possible that you have different soil than your neighbor (that can happen). You could ask what their soil’s like and if they amended it. You local nursery might have some useful tips, also.

    Reply

  13. Posted by Jean on July 17, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    More gorgeous hydrangea! I must stop looking at these or my whole yard will be hydrangea! Thanks for the garden walk. Lovely! Jean

    Reply

  14. Posted by Cindy on July 17, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    I just love hydrangeas and so does my husband. We don’t have any planted here but some of my neighbors have HUGE ones. Someday I will plant one as I have always wanted to dry the flowers for arranging. It seems like it is another plant you can get swept up into collecting!

    Reply

  15. Posted by Susie on July 18, 2008 at 12:39 am

    Is that Forever and Ever foliage suppose to be red in the fall? I could be getting that confused with another variety.

    I think the conical shape bloom of Snowflake is really neat.

    Reply

  16. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 18, 2008 at 2:19 am

    PB I'm glad I could inspire you to add more hydrangeas to your garden. These would be great selections. Great advice for FiFi too.

    Jean I'm glad you enjoyed the hydrangeas. I know how you feel, they are addicting. lol

    Cindy they are great additions to any garden. And the flowers dry so beautifully for arrangements. I have let the flowers dry on the plant and they stay gorgeous.

    I did some research for you Susie because I didn't remember that fact. No the foliage doesn't turn red on the Forever & Ever but it does on the oakleafs. I love that conical shape of the Snowflake too, with the double blooms it is spectacular.

    Reply

  17. Posted by Rosehaven Cottage on July 18, 2008 at 3:31 am

    I’ve never seen the oakleaf variety before now. They are really cool looking. I can see why you like them.

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

    Reply

  18. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 18, 2008 at 5:14 am

    Thanks Cindy. I had never seen them in person, just in catalogs etc.. They are spectacular.

    Reply

  19. Posted by Kathleen on July 18, 2008 at 5:29 am

    I hope you do get to add one to your garden ~ I’ve never been sorry for the one I planted several years ago. I forget which variety of the oakleaf it was but it’s spectacular this year.

    Reply

  20. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you Kathleen. I will find a way to add an oakleaf to my collection. It will be a nice addition to my garden I think.

    Reply

  21. Posted by The Garden Faerie on July 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I also love the oakleaf hydrangea. It’s interesting how I tend to prefer less well-known varieties. With peonies, for example, I didn’t realize there were some single (not big double) versions, which I think are cool!
    ~ Monica

    Reply

  22. Posted by Mother Nature on July 18, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    I have some that are not blooming. I think they have too much shade and not enough moisture. I keep trying something different each year but so far nothing.
    Donna

    Reply

  23. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 18, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    GF I bet the single peonies are interesting. They probably don’t flop over when it’s windy or raining. I love the varieties that are fragrant. I have a double light pink one (name unknown) that has a clove like smell.

    I wonder why they aren’t blooming MN. Maybe someone out there in blogland has some ideas. Maybe alittle more sunlight is the answer because supposibly they aren’t as moisture needy as the others.

    Reply

  24. Posted by Roses and Lilacs on July 18, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    I share your love of hydrangea. I can’t grow as many here in the north. Wish I could grow those lace caps.

    I was looking back at previous posts and saw the scarecrow. It would be fun to make one for the garden. Kind of a cottage-informal-fun look.
    Marnie

    Reply

  25. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 19, 2008 at 2:18 am

    You can grow the Forever & Ever variety. They were designed for northern gardens. The scarecrow was fun wasn't it. It would be really cute in a cottage veggie garden setting. Thanks for visiting Roses and Lilacs.

    Reply

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