Gardening: A new lease of life for an old favorite hydrangea
Another common name for hydrangea is hortensia. Hydrangeas can grow as climbing vines and trees, but they are most commonly grown as a shrub. Plants can grow from a foot high to climbers that can reach more than 50 feet tall.
The beautiful flowers this plant produces are what makes it so popular and one of my favorites. It can bloom from early spring, but most begin flowering in mid-to-late June through fall.
The large flowers come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Its flowers can be pink, blue, red, white, purple and green and it likes partial shade to full sun – although the climber doesn’t mind a shady, north-facing wall.
If, like me, you remember hydrangeas from childhood memories, they can powerfully evoke a very romantic vision of the garden. As adults, we fall in love with them again, and today we have a wide range of different hydrangea varieties that our grandmothers never dreamed of.
Some modern hydrangeas grow in cool climates, some are too small to fit into perennial borders, and others have surprisingly large blooms and deep colors.
Hydrangeas will thrive in most soil types. However, the soil pH will change the color of the flowers of some varieties, especially moufhead. Some plants that normally offer pink flowers appear blue if the soil is acidic. You can change the color to blue by feeding it with a low-phosphorus, high-potassium fertilizer. Alternatively, you can grow your plant in compost in a pot to keep it blue.
Changing a plant from blue to pink is more difficult. You will need to raise the pH by adding lime. It is very common for the plant to produce a few different colored flowers in the first year of growth.
Few gardeners are interested in trying to change flower color – but it is interesting to know why plants are different and how to keep your favorite plants in the colors you want, if you wish.
Moist, well-drained soil in a dappled shade position is ideal. Avoid south-facing positions, especially if the soil is very dry. For a north-facing wall, plant the trusty climbing hydrangea Hydrangea Pietiolaris.
If you want to grow your hydrangeas for a hedge-like effect, some large-flowered mauve varieties such as Hydrangea Annabelle work best.
The name hydrangea comes from the Greek words “hydor” meaning water and “angos” meaning bowl, which roughly translates to barrel of water.
This is due to the fact that hydrangea is known to need a lot of water. The name Hortensia is a Latinized version of the French word Hortense.
My memories of hydrangeas are not from my grandmother’s garden – I lived in the north of England in a row of terraces (yes, very similar to Coronation Street) with a gravelled yard and a pair of pots.
However, we spent many holidays in Brittany and on the west coast of France, and that is where my love for hydrangeas began.
There are many customs around the world surrounding hydrangea; According to Japanese legend, the Emperor gave the hydrangea to the family of a girl he loved to show how much he cared for her.
In the Victorian era, hydrangea represented ostentation, ostentation and vanity. Especially the white hydrangea. In the US, hydrangeas are used for fourth wedding anniversaries – they beat wood or paper!
My love for hydrangeas continues, and my own garden has a good selection of different species. Although I love traditional mop heads, I find the paniculata (conical head) varieties easier to grow – and in my own garden, I don’t often get the time to treat them quite as well as I should, especially in busy years like this one. .
I have a climbing hydrangea on the wall near the front door of my house. I have a row of mixed hydrangeas that I planted because I couldn’t decide which one I liked best.
It includes the reliable and very elegant Annabelle, Sundae Fraise with its candy-like pink to white flowers, reminding me of squash! It also has the gorgeous blue Aisha, the cool green and white of Limelight, and above all, the Merveille Sanguine with its purple leaves and dark merlot flowers. It’s something that I think is amazing, and maybe it doesn’t go well with the rest but I adore it so much that I can’t put it down. It’s smaller than others and a little less reliable – but it’s worth it.