Sunday, April 24, 2016

Thoughts on Hydrangeas

Sunday, April 24, 2016

25.4° this morning and the temperature continues to drop even before the sun has given any thought to rising. Winter was snowless here in Marshfield, not meaning that it never snowed but that it snowed so little I only had to use the truck to plow once and truly that was more of an "I should be plowing by now" affair just after Christmas. Boots lined the utility room by the back door but often they fell over instead of being used.

Now that spring is here we continue to  have this expectation of warmer weather and garden work but after many sunny days, the ceaseless, drying winds have returned along with colder weather. This coming week we have two nights forecast that will be 20° or less. This is not good  for hosta growers such as we are.

This morning as I cruised gardening websites from around the northeast I came upon an excellent article on hydrangeas. Gail, Alex and I have been offering some hydrangeas for 6-7 years now but we never offer the pinks or blues that people often see in gardening magazines and always ask for. We stick to tried and true, cold hardy paniculatas and tell folks our experience with these and why we won't change.

Here is an  excellent article by James Kohut from the blog It offers useful information on growing Hydrangea macrophylla, the wonderful mopheads known by their trade name Endless Summer and arriving in pink or blue. The article points out what we have learned. It's not that you cannot grow these hydrangeas in this part of Vermont, but as with everything in life,  you have to work at it and at times you do not succeed. Read on, give it some thought, and if you're still persistent, talk to your area nurseryman or Master Gardener. We're sticking with the paniculatas!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where a waning gibbous moon offers brightness to the night sky. Enjoy the day!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
Writing on Facebook as George Africa and also at Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm
And always here to help you grow your green thumb!