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!
Hydrangea Season is perhaps my favorite time of year. It signals the beginning of summer and triggers memories of summers past to be savored in the peace of the garden.
Long before it was “The Mourning Bench” this area was ‘The Morning Garden’. Here, in the shade of a dogwood, with variegated Boxwoods on either side, I would bring my mug of coffee and notebook to plan the gardening day.
Originally, the bench was surrounded by hydrangeas, struck from cuttings, of the bouquets brought to me by Penny McHenry* on the occasion of my daughter’s wedding. I imagined sitting there embraced by all those hydrangeas and reveling in the happy memories of that time shared with family members and good friends.
Unfortunately, this site was windswept in the winter. Year after year the hydrangeas would die back to the ground. Although they produced luscious foliage every year, there were no flowers. A change needed to be made. I swapped them out for other hydrangeas… ‘Annabelles’ (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’), these bloom on new wood (i.e. this years growth) so they were perfect for this area. The wedding hydrangeas were moved to a more protected space.
(For names of the hydrangeas in this post, hover over photo with mouse.)
To be continued…..
* Penny McHenry- Dear friend, client and founder of the American Hydrangea Society.
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.
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.
* Penny McHenry dear friend and founder of the American Hydrangea Society.
© All photos & text 2010
The hydrangeas are at their peak. This year they are particularly beautiful having benefitted from a long cold winter.
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ on left and Hydrangea macrophylla ‘White Wave’ (above)
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Hayes Starburst’ a variation of the native found by Hayes Jackson.
As a result of last weeks garden tour, I have added a pot to the Circle of Friends.
Much better. Someplace for the eye to rest.
Above Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Jogasaki’ Below, Hydrangea serrata ‘ Beni Gaku’
The stunning Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Geoffrey Chaudbund’
And the mysterious “From Penny’s back door” If anyone can ID this I would appreciate it.
© All photos and text 2010
The very first bloom on ‘Mini-Penny’. (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mini-Penny’)
Oakleaf hydrangeas line a path below
leading to more heavenly hydrangeas.
Above, a glorious mix of Hydrangeas. Oakleaf (Hydrangea quercifolia) Annabelle (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’) and blue mopheads,(Hydrangea macrophylla) assorted, many of them Penny Macs.
Variegated kerria (Kerria Japonica ‘Pictum’) weaves it way through Hydrangea “Annabelle’ (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’) Gold Heart Ivy (Hedera helix “Gold Heart’) climbing the trees.
The ‘Circle of Friends’ consists of camellias and hydrangeas, either gifted to me, or those that arrived via cuttings from friend’s gardens. The identity of some have been lost, they therefore wear ID tags that read ‘From Penny’s back door’ or ‘Lacecap at Penny’s stream’, indicating where they originated.
The inverted pot served as a plinth for St. Fiacre, but he is temporarily needed elsewhere. (I have a shortage of statuary.)
Above,’ Penny Mac’ (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Penny Mac’) Blue, and ‘Madame Emile’ (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Madame Emile Mouillere’) White.
This show is just starting. I rely on the hydrangeas to carry the ornamental garden through the summer months. As the blossoms age they become papery. They can then be harvested for winter arrangements.
© All photos & text