MY HYDRANGEA HEAVEN
I suggested ‘Hydrangea Heaven” to Penny McHenry when she asked me to name her garden.
Penny founded The American Hydrangea Society. More on Penny and the redesign of her garden in another post….
The following photos are from the part of my garden I call ‘My Hydrangea Heaven’…..
Although she lights up the garden; Hydrangea quercifolia “Little Honey” does not stay ‘little’ for long! (below)
Planted only two years later than the species to the right and catching up fast!
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’ has most unusual cupped sepals,
and waxy texture too…
One of my favorites for small bouquets Hydrangea serrata ‘Tomi-no-Mai’ above
An unknown lacecap above, and below, with an unknown mophead…
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Hanabi’ AKA “Fuji Waterfall’ and ‘Shooting Star’ below…
Whenever there is a hydrangea that strikes my fancy I always ask if I can take a cutting, if the name is unknown it does not deter me, after all “what’s in a name?”
HYDRANGEA TOUR PART 2
The second garden on tour was that of Cheryl & Max Lenker.
It is a perfect English Style Cottage Garden; complete with rose arbor entrance, boxwood lined walk and welcoming plaque…
The mixed borders are masterfully planted …
featuring an elegant shade structure that serves as focal point.
Adjacent to the house is an outdoor living room with all the accoutrements for gracious living & entertaining.
From this area one can enjoy the sound and sight of a split stream waterfall.
If one ascends to the upper level one crosses the waterfall.
Here the character of the garden changes and one discovers a quiet shaded walkway …
and a place for contemplation.
This garden has it all and of course the hydrangeas were fabulous!
We all see different elements in a garden, I have not touched on the amazing front of this house, so for more on this garden see PRETTY OLD HOUSES and LINDARAXA.
HYDRANGEA SOCIETY GARDEN TOUR 1
This weekend I attended American Hydrangea Society’s Annual Garden Tour with Julieta of the outstanding food blog LINDARAXA. This was the very first time we met in person, what a warm, delightful, accomplished and charming lady she is. We connected immediately.
Check her blog for a recipe of the most delicious banana muffins she baked for our mid morning snack, I have to admit eating more than one on the drive home!
On with the tour, the first garden is that of Michele and Alan Browne….
From the moment I saw the yatsuhashi bridge spanning the dry creek bed, I knew this garden was going to be special, and it was, on so many levels.
Michele, did her homework, the garden perfectly compliments the architecture of her magnificent Arts & Crafts style house.
The Japanese influence was evident throughout.
The lantern (below) on the side of the path indicates that you are welcome to enter the garden, if it was placed ON the path, it would mean they are not receiving.
Along this path is a connoisseurs collection of hydrangeas, all young and recently planted, Michele had to wait till the trees she planted grew enough to create the dappled shade the hydrangeas require. (this garden is only 6 years old)
Designed as a stroll garden it has the requisite water features or representaions thereof …
As one comes round the back of the house one discovers an outdoor room adjacent to the house…..
a courtyard with pergola (notice the repetition of the elephant leg columns, that make it one with the house) From this vantage point one can enjoy a dry landscape or meditation garden creating the illusion of water, promontory and rocky shore.
While typically raked sand, crushed slate is used here for ease of maintenance.
All in all, the clever use of conifers, japanese maples , and the Three Friends of Winter ( Black Pine Pinus thunbergii, Flowering Apricot Prunus mume & Bamboo) …..
the gardener has successfully created a garden of great beauty, serenity and harmony. BRAVA Michele!!
Thank you for the wonderful stroll.
Hydrangea season is in full swing. I have, over the last 15 years, been ‘collecting’ hydrangeas and devising many ways to display them in a garden setting. They bloom a very long time and even when they pass their ‘prime’ they are still very effective; in fact I love them more when they are faded. They truly carry the southern garden throughout the summer months.
H. macrophylla ‘Westfalen” above…
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Jogasaki’
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mme Emile Mouillere’, turning pale blue above..
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ in the garden with companion Kerria japonica ‘Picta’ above..
The path leading to “The Circle of Friends” in my garden this morning … above
Tomorrow on the American Hydrangea Society Garden Tour I am going to see beautiful gardens and more hydrangea cultivars to lust over. Hope to see you there.
THE BEST HYDRANGEA GARDENS
Some of the best hydrangea gardens in Atlanta will be on tour Saturday June 9th. Although this is a members only tour for THE AMERICAN HYDRANGEA SOCIETY, one can become a member/ buy a ticket, at several Atlanta Garden Centers or at 3 of the featured gardens on the day of the tour. (1 ticket $25.00 2 tickets $40.00)
Gloria Ward, the tour chairperson, has selected 7 gardens, the main criteria for which is being well designed including beautiful hydrangeas.
For more information visit HERE
I hope to see you there.
BOOKS AND BOUQUETS
While cleaning the library, I came across the book that was instrumental in changing my life.
This book was on the sale rack at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Boston 30 years ago.
What an inspiration. I wanted to fill every room with wonderful bouquets…. how difficult could that be? After all, the arrangements in this book were done in a small bathroom in NYC… (with access to the wholesale flower market.)
Without a nearby flower market but with a perennial catalogue firmly in hand I bravely placed an order. My future son-in law (although we didn’t know it then) cleared a border alongside the house for the plants.
While I awaited the delivery I read a Gertrude Jekyll book; exactly which one I do not remember, as one of her books inevitably led to the next. The one thing I did know , was that the plants had to be arranged beautifully out-of-doors as well as supply material for bouquets.
I soon discovered that plants take a few years to develop, and flower arranging is way harder than it looks. Still I am glad for the experience, it makes me so appreciate the talent of my friends who can ‘throw’ an incredible arrangement together in a heartbeat!
30 years later my bouquets are simple and mostly easy one of a kind blossoms from shrubs not perennials, they require way too much maintenance.
WILKERSON MILL GARDENS
Yesterday I had occasion to visit WILKERSON MILL GARDENS in Palmetto Georgia.
Long one of my favorite nurseries for underused and hard to find plants; they now specialize in hydrangeas, every one imaginable, and the good news is they are available mail order!
Above, pink “Annabelles”! (Hydrangea arborescens “Invincibelle“)
Love the “Hydrangea Blue” wagons!
I also noted some other very desirable plants to lust over. (below)
Above , Red Lotus Tree (Manglietia insignis) in the Magnolia family…I never heard of it before.
Above, the incredible foliage of “Moonlight” climbing hydrangea (Schizophragma hydrangeoides “Moonlight’)
So if you are in Georgia, pack a picnic and go visit, if not, check the website for all the information you need to grow gorgeous hydrangeas and find a few you are not familiar with. Connect here.
No, this is not a paid review, but if information on plants and planting are considered…I get an abundance of that!
MEANWHILE…. BACK IN THE GARDEN….
While we rush about getting the baby vegetable plants into the potager, the garlic screams for attention…it is ready….
it makes itself known by browning leaves, ( 5 to be exact) and a tendency to fall over.
Another item moves to the top of the ‘to do’ list… this is ‘ Emergency Management Gardening’. They will be cleaned when they cure.
MEANWHILE…. back in the garden… The first Hydrangea macrophylla is open..’.Penny Mac’ I can hear my friend Penny, in heaven, laughing with delight!
Next to her is ‘Madame Emile Mouillere’, a white mophead.
Hydrangea quercifolia, Oakleaf Hydrangea, is glorious…
all three types together, H. quercifolia, H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’ and H. macrophylla. ( below)
More Clematis blooming…..
Above, Estonian hybrids ‘Ruutel’ and ‘Piilu’ both raised by Uno Kivistik, the names mean ‘Knight’ and ‘Little Duckling’ respectively.
Clematis ‘Odoriba’, with its delightful little bells, ‘Carnaby’ in the corner, and below, Clematis ‘Confetti’ blooming for the first time.
Now I must rush to harvest the seeds of the mustard we grew this winter; indispensable in some Indian dishes, the recipes for which have been waiting while the seeds ripen.
I also let the lettuce go to seed.
It was a delicious mix of salad greens ( Winter Mesclun Mix) which survived the little frost we did have. The flavor improves I find, when sowing seeds that have been raised in the same soil. (Ask anyone who has tasted my Basil!)
All this to say.. I’m busy…..
as my bees!
GARDEN TOUR 2
I am tickled that the rambling rose Etain is blooming for the very first time,
I have envisioned it climbing 20 feet up the Oak tree.
On the other side I have planted ‘Rambling Rector’, another rose that could, under good cultivation reach to 30 feet. So I have hopes for this area to have real impact …..in time.
The Oakleaf Hydrangeas have formed their flower buds and are just starting to open, beyond them are the fig trees.
What I have long called the Viburnum Court should be refered to as the clematis court, since there are far more Clematis than Viburnum now.
Shame on me… those majestic shrubs are reduced to being supports for my Clem addiction!
Whenever I pass the Schiaparelli bench I congratulate myself on choosing the paint colour.
Here is a good example of either buying a plant while it’s in bloom or ordering from a reliable source.
The Clematis was supposed to be white…. oops, sorry, love it just the same , in fact this is a happy accident.
A quick peek at Clematis Josephine … So feminine!
And Clematis ‘Polish Spirit’ above.
I am just now getting around to pruning the dead flowers off the Hydrangea macrophylla. If one waits long enough there can be no mistakes, the new buds are obvious.
Earlier on I would have pruned more for shape than flowers; but now that I have the choice, I left some of the awkward branches for cutting.
When the Clematis are done… we will move on to rapsodising over the Hydrangeas!
A COLOURFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
Autumn is definitely the most colourful time of the year in my garden. Above, fall foliage and camellias.
The dogwoods (Cornus florida) are at their peak with both the foliage and the fruits ablaze.
I just love the way this tree frames the veranda and gives me a marvelous view of the cardinals who fly in to devour the berries.
Elsewhere, the Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) are in phase 3 of their 4 season show. This native is unsurpassed.
Some views from the veranda…
For more autumn beauty see Boy Fenwick’s photos on the blog Reggie Darling. He has also captured the most incredible sunset. Enjoy!
GARDENING IN THE SOUTH
Perhaps what I appreciate most about gardening in the south is the fact that it is year round.
While many of the deciduous hydrangeas are loosing their foliage, the Arum groundcover is coming into its own and will soon blanket the ground.
Then there are the shrubs that bloom a second time. Above, the Chinese Witchhazel (Lorapetalum chinensis) in its second flowering.
For the rest, far from looking bare the camellia sasanqua are putting on quite a show. From a distance they could be mistaken for cascading roses ….
Close up, just as enchanting with as much diversity in form.