Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hydrangeas in my Landscape

These shrubs just seem to thrive in my landscape. The H. macrophylla and several H. paniculata were here when we bought the place. We've added the climbing hydrangea, H. anomala oak-leaf hydrangea, H. quercifolia , and the native smooth hydrangea, H. arborescens. The links above are from the University of Connecticut, which has a great set of fact sheets about each of these and both the Ohio State and University of Rhode Island fact sheets have good information about  planting, growing, and pruning.  Here's a good site on Hydrangea care, including how to dry the blooms.  Enjoy the pictures.

Oak Leaf H. quercifolia

Native, or Smooth Hydrangea H. arborescens

Climbing Hydrangea H. anomala

Mophead, or H. Macrophylla

The color of the blooms of this variety are blue in acidic soils, pink in soils higher in pH.  Pink varieties develop color best at a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.0., while the best blue color occurs at pH 5.0 to 5.5.

H. Paniculata
This one is being overly shaded by a Norway Maple that's on my "to do" list to remove some day.

Paniculata blooms will come later in the year, but you can see their budding promise, if you look closely.

Another H. Paniculata

Yet Another H. Paniculata

I really like the way the blooms "ripen" into other colors, as well.  The bright white of the smooth Hydrangea mellows into a pale green.  Oak leaf blooms turn from white to a dark pink, and the white of the paniculata goes to a pale pink blush, all of which look wonderful in dried arrangements.  It probably has something to do with the fact that the actual hydrangea flower is small and insignificant but is surrounded by the showy bracts, much like a poinsetta plant.  I haven't had much luck retaining the pink or blue of the mophead when drying, but I've seen dried arrangements that do.  Oakleaf, smooth, and the paniculata seem to do it well without any "help" from me.  Anybody want to add their tips on color retention for drying?  Use the comments section, or shoot me an email.

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