CHANGE OF HYDRANGEA

In a recent post  I bemoaned the fact that my “interesting hydrangeas’  had no impact in the July landscape. Today, however, the ‘ interesting hydrangeas’…

                                                                                 

 are still interesting…

                                                                                          

whereas the July impact hydrangea… not so much.

                                                                                   

So, I will stay with the interesting ones in the circle of friends & plant the babies that I propagated, in the cutting garden next spring. One cannot have too many fresh hydrangea stems.

My Mother always said..  ” If a little bit is good, a lot is MUCH better.”  That certainly rings true when assembling a bouquet. Too little plant material can look so stingy, and I don’t mean a single blossom or stem in an appropriate vessel.

                                                                                    

The July  impact hydrangea (above) was fabulous in fresh bouquets with lilies (and Lily below) earlier in the season. The flower has substance and lasts a while in a vase.

                                                                                  

The Annabelles are still looking superb … I cannot imagine my garden without them.

                                                                                 

That Chartreuse is divine! Cut now & dried, they will probably retain their colour into the new year.

                                                                                 

These are also great if you are one of those crafty people inclined to spray paint.

HYDRANGEAS, HYDRANGEAS, EVERYWHERE!

                                                                                     

 In the summer,  Hydrangeas form the backbone of the shade garden, they will carry the garden through the summer and keep my vases filled as well.. 

                                                                                                                                                        

In The Circle of Friends, the camellias are  now backdrop, and these beauties are showing  their stuff.

                                                                                     

Most Hydrangeas are rounded in form. From a distance they are indistinguishable…                                                                                 

On closer inspection however……

                                                                                         

many are quite distinctive, above Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Jogasaki’

                                                                                         

                                                                                         

The lacecap Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lanarth White’ above.

                                                                                         

Hydrangea quercifolia & Hydrangea macrophylla above. Although I do enjoy the delicate lacecap flowers, the big blue or white balls are certainly  eye-catching in the landscape.

                                                                                   

Above, Oakleaf Hydrangeas mark the entrance to the Viburnum Court.

What carries your garden through summer?

THE WINTER GARDEN

With all the holiday activities over I finally got into the garden. What a relief! It is so quiet and peaceful, in stark contrast to the last weeks. It truly is my sanctuary… just as I planned it.

                                                                                           

Gardening in Georgia, one can have a winter garden that BLOOMS.  From time to time a hard freeze will turn my magnificent camellia flowers to brown mush….

                                                                                             

 but in a day or two when it warms, the new buds open and the show begins again.

                                                                                           

 Even if they did not bloom, their evergreen presence create the ‘bones’.  I always start with the winter structure when I design landscapes. Without structure,  a collection of plants scattered about without any rhyme or reason, is just….. well, a collection of plants just scattered about!  Below,’ BEFORE’ at a client’s.

                                                                                             

While I love the warm spells, my hydrangeas (the macrophylla types) are all too anxious to welcome spring and start to break bud. Not a good thing!!

                                                                                          

The next frost will damage the flower buds that are already exposed. I’m going to try covering with ‘Remay’ a protective covering , or ‘floating row cover’ used in the nursery trade. Hopefully they will be spared. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

© All photos & text 2011

CAMELLIAS! CAMELLIAS!

Blooming now

                                                                          

Camellia sasanqua ‘Maiden’s Blush’  above

                                                                   

Camellia sasanqua ‘Jean May’ above & below

                                                                       

                                                                   

Camellia sasanqua “Daydream’

                                                                   

Below, one of the Ackerman Hybrids,  C. ‘Winter’s Charm’

                                                                    

                                                                      

Does this look familiar? I posted on this area in spring when the Azaleas were blooming. This is the walk to the compost.

Dr. William Ackerman  of the National Arboretum crossed Camellia oleifera & Camellia hiemalis or C. sasanqua  to produce a plant hardy to 10F. If you live in colder climes…the Ackerman Hybrids are for you.

It has been said that the trinity of Southern Gardens are azaleas, hydrangeas & camellias. The latter two giving the longest show. These Camellias will bloom a full 6 weeks.  THAT, is a show!

                                                                

The above beauty never had a nametag. AND speaking of a long show…

                                                                      

Some hydrangeas are still stunning.

On a personal note, the last weeks have been very difficult.  I will try to post more often in the future.

© All photos & text 2010

HYDRANGEAS & GARDEN UPDATE

Hydrangea paniculata looking particularly lovely…

 taking on its autumn hue

                                                                   

  So is Hydrangea macrophylla below.

                                                                 

AND I am loosing the groundcover war @ the Mourning Bench.                                                                     

Some critter is digging up all my transplants and I have to fix them every morning. I have resorted to laying chicken wire over the lot & hope it deters whatever. My guess is a racoon digging for the worms in the compost I spread.

                                                                  

 Perennials need so much maintenance.I think I remember why I thought the vinca could take over!! I cannot spend every day replanting & trying to save what has been dug up with so many other tasks to attend to. AND, I am directed to economise and unfortunately gardening help is very low on the list of priorities. Good thing is, I am getting into shape.

Moving on…

The Perilla I allowed to stay…

                                                                 

 MUST be out of here before it sets seed. So far I have loaded the ‘dump truck’ and I am not done yet.

                                                                       

It served its purpose ; which was to shade to roots of the clematis planted around the perimeter of this garden room.; and, with no effort from me , will return again next year so will the cleome. My garden philosophy is to let the self seeders do their thing.  I can look after the shrubs & clematis. When this part of the garden, The Viburnum Court, is between bloom & berries, the clematis, perilla & cleome really liven it up; then the perilla & cleome take over & keep it ‘furnished’ till the berries show.

                                                                   

What I did Labour Day Weekend… below

                                                                    

  I really like it , It just recedes into the background without calling any attention to itself.

 The To Do list gets another check mark.

And finally… more plants I will be rushing to banish before they set their seed. But oh, the butterflies & Hummingbirds.

                                                                    

not to mention I love the colours!!

© All photos & text 2010

GARDEN & HYDRANGEA UPDATE

It was my relationship with Penny McHenry* that instilled in me the love of hydrangeas.

I have to confess I always found the blue mopheads rather  flashy, I much prefered the delicate lacecaps. Working over a period of time with Penny on reinventing her garden, I had the opportunity to observe the plants closely in all their stages of growth. When they began to fade and look like this…

                                                                        

  and this …     

                                                                                                                                    

I was hooked!  Suddenly I appreciated the versatility of this shrub and how many months of beauty it contributes to the garden.

                                                                   

The paniculatas are late blooming, above & below, Pink Diamond (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pink Diamond’)

                                                                    

Right now this is a magnet for butterflies and several species of bees. When the sun shines here, the area is all a flutter.

AND THE REST…

                                                                   

The oak Leaf hydrangea turns amethyst, true to its name. (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Amethyst’)

                                                                    

Annabelle hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’) is that lovely Chartreuse colour, blends beautifully with the hosta. Notice there is no foliage left on Annabelle. The deer love her. 

                                                                         Hydrangea ‘Snowflake’ is still flowering..

                                                                     but starting to show some browning.

                                                                   

The berries on the viburnums are ripening, these above  will be red…

                                                                  

and these are the yellow berries of Viburnum ‘Michael Dodge’ starting to colour up.

                                                                   

More delights, the seed heads of Clematis. Once described as curled up little terriers.

                                                                  

Figs are starting (above)… and below, ongoing blueberry harvest.

                                                                  

with more to come. The late blueberries are just starting. 

                                                                   

Ah, summertime!

* Penny McHenry dear friend and founder of the American Hydrangea Society.

© All photos & text 2010

MORE HYDRANGEAS

This hydrangea is most unusual. Also, I do not know which it is. When I bought it it was labeled Hydrangea subsp. sargentiana. Since then, Elizabeth Dean of Wilkerson Mill Gardens (where it originated) was told it was not a true sargentian, the hairs went the wrong way!   Whatever. It is one of the last to bloom and I love it.

                                                                     

This is a large plant,  6′ tall

                                                                      

with large fuzzy leaves,                                                                      

    buds that remind me of cauliflower                                                                    

and lacecap inflorescences.

In her Atlanta garden, Penny McHenry grew several fuzzy leafed hydrangeas and although they all had different names, we could never see many differences.

 Mike Dirr says “The Hydrangea aspera group is a mess, and I don’t know anyone who could reliably identify the middle ground variants between H. aspera and subsp. sargentiana

Just a few more and I promise no more hydrangeas till the paniculata group starts its show.

                                                                     

Above, Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Fuji Waterfall’.   Below,  Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Beaute Vendomoise’ slightly drooping… it is hot!

                                                                      

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Fasan’  above, aka ‘Pheasant Twilight’  one  of the Teller series.

                                                                     

Hydrangea serrata ‘O amacha’ nishiki above, opens white and slowly turns to red.

                                                                      

Hydrangea serrata ‘Kyosumi’ above, and finally, below, H. serrata Kurenai.

This hydrangea too opened white and turns to red. See it here.