Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happiness is Hydrangea

In the last few weeks the blooms on the Pink Diamond Hydrangea have turned from a white to a pink to a deep pink colour hense the name. This shrub is one I brought home from a local nursery several years ago. It was looking forlorn in the reduced pile and I felt sorry for it. It took a few years to grow to its mature size of 5ft tall or 1.5 meters and 4 ft or 1.4 meters wide. The blooms are in a conical shape different than the round globes of the 'Annabelle' Hydrangea. In the spring the 'Pink Diamond' can take a shearing back as it blooms on new growth. At the moment the smaller Magnolia 'Susan' is lost somewhere under the bloom. The Magnolia blooms earlier in the season so that arrangement works. The blooms must have a wonderful fragrance for insects as I counted a few different kinds including a paper wasp that was 2inches or .06 meters long buzzing in and out of the shrub.

Also on the property I have the large bloomed 'Annabelle' Hydrangea. This one needs cutting back in the spring. It grows on new growth but it suckers quite a bit. Good if you have a spring plant sale to donate the extras to. I love the size of the blooms. They can be huge. I always put them in the flower shows and have won the red ribbon for my effort.

A few years ago I planted an 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea. This one is supposed to bloom right through the season with either pink (in alkaline soil) or blue (in acidic soil). It bloomed the first year and then nothing. This is the third year and no bloom. The plant itself is very healthy and at the moment the leaves are turning a yellow and red autum colour which is nice. I haven't made up my mind whether I will dig it up and move it or give another season or whether it may be a candidate for a plant sale. There are always other varieties to try.

At the moment I am trialing two new varieties of Hydrangea for a friend. One is 'Incrediball' an improved form of 'Annabelle' which has a bloom 4 times the size bigger than 'Annabelle' with stronger stems and the other is 'Invincible Spirit' a pink form of Annabelle. At the moment the 'Invincible' has a very small pink bloom on it. It will be interesting to see how these two grow in the next couple of years.

Hydrangeas are fairly easy to grow even in our sandy soil. They need moisture, sun or part shade and benefit from mulching to keep the moisture in. Of course they need room to grow as they become a good size shrub. Certainly this plant is worthy of a place in everyone' garden bed.

1 comment:

Lavender Cottage said...

I think 'Invincible Spirit' is going to be my favourite new hydrangea. The delicate pink blooms will be really nice when our trial shrubs mature.