Featured Plant

A blue Hydrangea is shown in combination with Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' and Hardy Geranium at the seaside town of Cannon Beach, Oregon.

The many forms and colors of the old fashioned Hydrangea add sparkle to the late Summer garden. The large blooms have the added feature of being very easy to dry for large Winter bouguets. A large basket of dried blue hydrangeas is a wonderful addition to any room! The plants are often thought of as best for shade, but will do surprisingly well in sunny areas. Besides the reliable Blue forms that develop on acid soils, try the huge white blooms of 'Annabelle', or the red to pink form of 'Alpengluhen'. The large Oak Leaf Hydrangeas, with their more pointed white flower heads, can handle full sun with no problem. Look for the variety 'Snow Queen', or the dwarf form' Pee Wee'. Prune immediately after blooming, removing only the stems that have flowered...or prune back hard in early Spring for larger flowerheads.

Hydrangea "Blue Wave'on the right, a lacecap variety, is grown with the standard blue form in raised beds that also contain Leucothoe. Even when pruned back, the plants often reach the roof of the shade house that looks out onto the vineyard above.

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