If I had a penny for every time someone comes into the garden center where I work (Estabrook’s) and asks me why their big-leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), such as ‘Endless Summer’, isn’t blooming, I would be a wealthy lady. But let me clarify – this common frustration is primarily isolated to hardiness Zones 5 and…Read More
Holy Moly! A cascading Hydrangea? Yup. ‘Fairytrail Bride’ is a new Hydrangea hybrid with a horizontal growth habit and trialing stems that are adorned with white lacy flowers through the summer. It would make a spectacular display in a container or cascading over a retaining wall – or frankly ANYWHERE! ‘Fairytrial Bride’ gets 4’ tall…Read More
“I just wanted to thank you for your amazing webinar, Not Your Grandma’s Hydrangeas. After being overwhelmed by the all the species and cultivar options but wanting gorgeous hydrangeas for YEARS, I am planning to plant several this spring. Your webinar has given me the clarity I need to choose which to plant. Well, mostly,…Read More
I have the special honor and opportunity to evaluate plants that are either new to the retail market or will be released in the upcoming year. I was tickled pink last week when two huge boxes from Santa Clause (Proven Winners and Spring Meadow Nursery, a wholesale grower) landed on my front porch. Inside were…Read More
Each Spring Coastal Maine Botanical Garden Hosts the Classic Plantastic! Plant Sale. And we’re talking some really cool, unusual plants. The first day of the sale is on Saturday, June 17th, the same day as my lecture at the Garden. I’ll be talking about Growing Honkin’ Hydrangeas in the Northeast. The lecture is at 1:00…Read More
ASTONISHING! Last month’s webinar (online lecture), Inspired Garden Design, was packed with participants from 45 stated in the U.S. as well as Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Russia and South Korea. The next webinar, Jaw-Dropping Flowering Shrubs: the New, No-Fuss Glamour Plants will be on Thursday, April 27 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Featured shrubs will…Read More
There is something about full-flowered, rich blue Hydrangea blooms that sets your heart a’flutter. Maybe this only happens to those of us in colder zones (6 or lower) that find it so rare to have ANY flowers on our bigleaf Hydrangeas (pictured – Hydrangea macrophylla CITYLINE ‘Venice’). Let’s face the brutal facts. ALL bigleaf hydrangeas…Read More
Small, flower-packed Hydrangeas are the rage! There has been an explosion of new hydrangeas that are much more compact than their bigger brothers. These flower-packed, miniaturized versions are perfect for small spaces and containers. Most of the new introductions are in the paniculata species (commonly called panicle or hardy hydrangeas). ‘Bobo’ has…Read More
The best gardens have plants that add color and interest in all seasons. Spring and summer are usually pretty simple to fill with color. It can take a bit more planning to keep the garden looking great late summer into fall and winter. However, with a bit of careful plant selection your garden can brim with interest in every season. This article covers some perennials that will add late summer and fall color. Now we are going to concentrate on shrubs.
Shrubs are a natural source for adding late summer and fall colors, after all fall is known for the colorful foliage of deciduous trees and shrubs. However, fall color in shrubs certainly isn’t limited to foliage. Flowers, seed pods and berries are additional sources of interest. Today’s newer shrubs are powerhouses that can provide interest in multiple seasons. The choices are almost limitless, but here are a few that we feel are especially good performers.
New and improved Hydrangeas are being introduced every year and it seems like there is at least one that works for any situation. Late summer and fall interest are no different, where Hydrangea paniculata shines. Two of the best cultivars are ‘Limelight‘ and Little Lime™. They start blooming in mid-summer, when they show off lime-green flowers. As the flowers mature they turn white, then light pink, then deep rose and eventually turn cinnamon brown and persist into the winter where they continue to add value to the landscape. ‘Limelight’ isn’t an especially large plant, although under ideal conditions and without pruning it can reach up to 8 feet tall. With yearly pruning, it can easily be kept under 6 feet tall. The better choice, if you are looking for compactness, is Little Lime™ which tops out at 5 feet tall without pruning. Both are hardy in zones 3 to 9 and do well in part sun to sun. If you are in a climate with hot summers, afternoon shade is helpful more for the impact on moisture than heat. Consistently moist soils will help keep the flowers fresh and looking good for the duration of their bloom. Fire Light™, a brand new introduction for spring 2014, is one to watch for the future. The fall flower color is an especially deep pink. Hardy in zones 3 to 8.Read More