These are the bluish mop heads on a Hydrangea shrub way up front in the Jarvis Garden.
I planted two of these a few years ago, hoping that they would merge into one large mass of color. They are under a large American Holly which I limbed up a bit so that they could get sun.
This week Hydrangeas are just starting to put on some color, the bluish hue comes from the acid condition of the soil on Long Island.
Sometimes a flower or two take on a pinkish or purple color if they are in more basic soil or near a cement foundation. Or at least that's what I've been told, rather like litmus paper, Hydrangeas indicate the PH of the soil they live in. Adding Aluminum to the soil gives the blossoms a deep blue color. Subtracting is creates a pink flower.
This is a Lace Cap white Hydrangea. I got this plant on sale, at the end of a season. It had two leaves on it and I realized that it was a Hydrangea.
It grew very large and I severely cut it back last Fall. It put out many blooms this Spring.
Next to it is a new variety of White Hydrangea. It blooms a bit later and the flower heads are almost spherical, and very large. Right now it is just starting to flower, and is late to fill out.
It has also grown very well at the back of the large barn where most of the day the Hydrangeas are in deep shade.
On the left side of the new Hydrangea is what I call the "usual suspect." A white Hydrangea that is very common, but is faithful and grows well. Its flower head is flat and large.
It was cut back as well, and produced many, many blooms.
Here are the "three sisters," at the back of the barn. A Hosta boarder keeps their roots cool and wet.
Off to the side of the garden is the Oak Leaf Hydrangea.
This is a very large and beautiful shrub. In the fall the blooms look wooden, and the leaves turn to bronze.
I planted it in a corner, hoping that it would fill in a difficult spot, and it has exceeded my dreams.
This is the Pee Gee Hydrangea, which hasn't even started to put out blooms. In the Summer it will be covered with white panicles which will turn to red-brown in the Fall. These are easily dried by cutting long stems, and placing in an empty dry vase.
There are many tips about pruning Hydrangeas. Unless the plant has really outgrown its spot, I leave it alone. Hydrangeas require a tremendous amount of water. Shade with some sun seems to be best. On really dry days, I hand water Hydrangeas when they start to droop. Other plants can make it through a short dry spell, but not Hydrangeas. I have them in really deep shade and in locations with more sun light. They are wonderful and require little thought. They just keep on blooming.