Hooray for Hydrangeas!

Hydrangea 'Nikko Blue'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nikko Blue'

I’m sure most of you are aware of my Hydrangea Obsession from all the gushing I did last season about my Hydrangea ‘Limelight’.  Well he’s not quite ready to put on his display yet but it won’t be much longer, maybe this time next month.  However some of the others are starting to show signs of what’s to come such as ‘Nikko Blue’ above.  This plant has been in my garden since the fall of 2007 and last year I got one bloom.  However he’s making up for this spring with at least 5 or 6 buds forming with this being the largest.  This is a large leaved shrub that blooms on new wood and dies to the ground each winter.  It grows quite fast once spring arrives. 

Unknown lacecap Hydrangea

Unknown lacecap Hydrangea

This is my second oldest Hydrangea and the name is long since forgotten along with the tag. The flowers are a deep blue but sometimes they vary to a lavender pink depending on my soil from season to season.  It blooms off of old & new wood which works out well if I get too enthusiastic with trimming.   It isn’t as thirsty as the mopheads but does need some supplemental watering during the heat of summer.  It prefers afternoon shade too.

(From upper left across & down: Forever & Ever 'Pink',  'Pinky-Winky', 'The Swan' and 'Little Honey'

(From upper left across & down: Forever & Ever 'Pink', 'Pinky-Winky', 'The Swan' and 'Little Honey'

My four latest Hydrangeas are looking good but no buds yet.  Three Forever & Evers were added to the garden last spring in an area that was getting too much afternoon sun.  So I moved them last fall and they are all doing much better this year.  ‘Pinky-Winky’ was added last fall after seeing how great it looked in Joy’s garden.  It has a great shape to it already and I love the burgundy branches.  Can’t wait till she blooms!  ‘The Swan’ and ‘Little Honey’ (a dwarf oakleaf) were added this spring.  This is not the original plant of ‘Little Honey’, it croaked so Bluestone Perennials sent  me a new one after I emailed them a quite note with the receipt attached.   This one came in the mail today and it was much bigger with more foliage.  I made to sure to add plenty of compost to the hole this time just in case it was a drainage problem.  Their only requirement is well draining soil and my native soil is heavy clay.  With Peony season nearing an end (thanks to the rainfall we had yesterday)  I’m looking forward to the Hydrangeas.  🙂

note: I kept the bare twig of the possibly dead Oakleaf Hydrangea ‘Little Honey’ and replanted it elsewhere.  Who knows it might bounce back, it was worth taking a chance.  The roots looked healthy so time will tell…


22 responses to this post.

  1. I really enjoyed your Hydrangeas,I have two lst year they didn’t do much where we lived I guess it was the soilk or something . Although this year they are turning out to be what I look to be great pants ,one is pink and the other is blue so I must be doing something right .just thought i would stop by and say hello .Jimmy

    Thanks Jimmy. Sounds like your new hydrangeas are doing well too. The Mopheads tend to take a bit longer to start blooming than the new cultivars like Limelight. I’m glad you stopped by today. 🙂


  2. Hi Racquel~~ Last year was my “hydrangea year” so I can relate. In fact I’ve still got 5 of them in pots. Their blooms just last and last…what’s not to like?

    Hi Grace, this year will be better for me I think. We’ve had alot of rain which they love, especially the mopheads. I’ve never grown them in pots, are yours in the original containers or large pots? 🙂


  3. Posted by greenwalks on May 18, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    So much to look forward to, all those deep rich colors to come. Cool that you got a replacement plant for the one that died. I have exactly one hydrangea, still in its nursery pot from last fall’s purchase, waiting for me to find the right home for it. It’s leafing out nicely, so at least it didn’t die this winter!

    Yep I love all the Hydrangea blooms (mopheads, lacecaps etc…) regardless of color or shape. I’ve never had to ask for a replacement plant from Bluestone but I know they have a great policy. Nice to know that they stand by their plants. 🙂 Just look for an area that gets afternoon shade for your new Hydrangea and remember they love to be moist during the heat of summer.


  4. I remember your hydrangeas very well because they looked so good! Mine have been blooming since the end of April. Like you said, the blue is looking a little lavender pink now. One good thing about them is that they root easily. Looking forward to seeing your plants in full bloom!

    Thanks Kanak, I did gush a bit about them last season, so I figured some of you would remember. 😉 I bet yours are very pretty right now. I’ve never tried to take cuttings from mine, but I’ll have to keep that in mind for the future.


  5. I’ll be eager for the Hydrangea blooms too! I love ’em after seeing them over at Tina’s.

    Then I’ll make sure to share lots of photos with your Chandramouli. 🙂 Tina’s are very pretty, she had a lovely variety of nice cultivars.


  6. Hi Racquel, your Nikko is so advanced! I do hope the first Little Honey makes a return from the dead too. It happens occasionally here. We have struggled with the macrophyllas in the drought of the last two years, but of course this year is the opposite of that and they look great. Late frosts reliably kill buds so we have started making wire cages filled with pine straw for protection. It worked on a couple, but the Nikko needs no cover and has the most buds. I can’t wait to see your show! 🙂

    He has expeeded my expectations this year Frances, I think all this wet spring weather has helped though. 😉 Wouldn’t that be something if my first ‘Little Honey’ returned from the “DEAD”! From your lips…lol Good tip about he wire cages filled with pine straw, I’ve never done that with my macrophyllas. I think the area they are in is a microclimate of maybe zone 8 so that helps. Thanks!


  7. Oh hope your Little Honey springs back. I was interested in seeing that one. Mine blooms haven’t opened up as much as yours seem to have. Love the blooms!!

    Me too Janet, but I’m hoping the replacement one does well too. 🙂 I think my backyard is a mini microclimate for these beauties & they’ve enjoyed all the rain this spring too.


  8. Racquel girl !! I am so with you on hydrangeas : ) .. I bought two “Quick Fire” this Spring .. one for the front and one for the back garden .. my Cityline one is leafing out very nicely too ! I can’t wait to take pictures of them all .. we should start a hydrangea lovers club ? haha
    Thank you for the mention girl .. Pinky is still special to me since we got so many fans to acquire that beauty ! haha

    Hi Joy! I knew you of all people would understand my obsession with Hydrangeas, especially the newer cultivars which thrive under all conditions. I was considering ‘Quick Fire’ myself but got ‘The Swan’ instead which has white flowers which resemble little origami swans. How cool is that? 😉 Glad you picked up two, can’t wait to see how well they do in your garden. Looks like we could easily start a club & have tons of members, lol. You are welcome Joy, you are the reason I got Pinky, she’s a special lady & I’m looking forward to her blooms! 🙂


  9. I hope your Little Honey does bounce back indeed! Looks to be good year for hydrangeas with all this rain.

    Thanks Tina, me too. Wouldn’t that be great! It is the perfect year for these moisture lovers. They will indeed shine this season. 🙂


  10. I love hydrangeas, looking forward to full blooms 🙂

    Thanks Mom, I promise to share tons of photos of these beautiful bloomers! 🙂


  11. Hooray for Hydrangeas indeed! I’ll be glad when we can have more. right now we have way too much sun. We have two, but the only reason they are surviving is because they are covered by large tropical leaved plants in the summer. Of cours you can’t see them then. Our theory is one day we will have shad and we can move them, meanwhile we have them even if you can’t see them. LOL

    They are worth the celebration indeed! Hopefully all your trees fill in soon so you can have more of these special shrubs in your gorgeous garden. Good way to create your own shade with the large leaved tropicals. 😉


  12. Racquel – I love seeing your hydrangeas! With all the rain lately, I’ll bet they are happy. I was too early to see the French hydrangeas in bloom in France.

    I think my one little hydrangea may finally be concealed enough by oakleaf hollies and a huge baptisia to avoid access by the deer. Maybe I’ll finally have a bloom or two. We just pulled out a row of ligustrums along the east side of our house. I’d love to plant hydrangeas there (they would be in a raised bed behind our dining table and chairs), but I don’t know if the furniture is enough to keep the deer away.


    Hi Cameron, they really are loving the wet spring we’ve been having this year. I would of loved to seen photos of the French Hydrangeas too, that’s a shame. How clever of you to disguise your little shrub from the deer. 😉 That would be something if you could plant them near your outdoor dining area.


  13. I love hydrangeas too. Your are beautiful. Do you ever root them to add more in your garden? We do around here.

    Thanks Darla. I’ve never actually tried doing rootings from the Hydrangeas I own, but I will have to give that a try with some of my favorites. More plants for free is always a good thing! 😉


  14. Posted by Susie on May 19, 2009 at 8:33 am

    I’m glad to hear they replaced your Little Honey. Maybe the twig will bounce back.

    They really back up their replacement policy Susie. 🙂 That would be something if my twig did survive. I moved it to a really sheltered area & I’m going to pamper it a bit to see what happens.


  15. I do like hydrangeas, but it’s one of those plants I’ve never grown (along with roses, though not on principle). Am looking forward to seeing yours in blooms. They make such wonderful dried flowers, too.

    You should try some of the newer cultivars Monica like Limelight or Quickfire. They are so easy & carefree. I promise to share lots of photos of my hydrangeas in blooms with you. 🙂


  16. I love hydrangeas too but most of them don’t do well here. They sell Nikko Blue at the garden centers but it isn’t reliably hardy. You’re lucky you can grow a variety of the newer ones. They just keep getting better.

    Maybe you could try some of the cultivars they created for up north like Annabelle & the Endless Summer. Thanks Marnie. 🙂


  17. They’re very pretty, but probably not for me. I wish they had more color!

    It took me a long time to appreciate their old fashioned look too DP. Thanks! 😉


  18. I love your hydrangeas! About your chicken/terrier comment… I DO have a terrier (Miniature Pinscher named Songo) myself. So, this is what it’s like…. Songo will chase anything that runs from her. But thankfully that’s all she does, chase. And the clever little chickens are catching on… if they don’t run, they don’t get chased. And Daisy, the Polish crested? She has stands up to Songo! She’ll spread her wings and run at her (Songo doesn’t know what to do). So, no problems yet. But I am not so naive that I think things will always be fine. The dog and the chickens will NEVER be left out together unsupervised, ever.

    Thanks Nat. That is too funny about Daisy, the Polish Crested chicken chasing your dog with wings spread ready for action. 😉 Thanks for letting me know what you’ve experienced with your little Songo & your chickens. Maybe I will reconsider getting some in the future.


  19. Absolutely hooray for hydrangeas! I remember the first time I saw a bed of the pink and blue hydrangeas. The garden was a cool and shady spot in our intense summers. They were beautiful. The only thing I can find wrong with any of them is their insistence on moist and well draining soil! Drat them! I really would like a few of the very delicate lacecaps! sigh.gail

    They really are spectacular blooms fro the shade. Yep they are pretty picky about their conditions. I have to amend my native clay to accomodate their needs. 😉


  20. Racquel, it never fails. When I see hydrangeas–I always think of you! 🙂

    How sweet is that Linda. 🙂


  21. Wonderful photos. My wife has asked very little as for what goes into the garden, but she wanted a Hydrangea, and she got one.

    Thanks Wayne. Your wife has good taste in plants and you are a good hubby for granting her wish. 🙂


  22. It’s amazing that Peony Season has just begun in MY yard;-) Hydrangea’s here are coming along well, too. I planted a pink one this spring that is showing it’s bloom but not opened up yet…The new blue one has NO blooms yet. I didn’t know you had a Hydrangea Obsession! This is the first year I’ve ever tried them, so I shall see how well they do here. Can’t wait to see all of yours in full bloom;-)


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