We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Hydrangeas are popular in New England, but you have to know what you are doing in order to have happy plants. As summer-flowering shrubs go, they are fairly easy. Summer-through-Sept bloomers. We have lots of them, even a climbing one.
- South of the New Jersey latitude, Hydrangeas can handle filtered light. North of that, they need more hours of full sun to be vigorous and to produce impressive bloom.
- As their name implies, many varieties like water, mist, and fog. Good mulching prevents summer wilt if that's a problem.
- A new or transplanted Hydrangea wants plenty of water the first year. They like rich soil too. Not hard clay.
- As we have said before, for good bloom you have to know the difference between your Macrophylla and your Paniculata. It's not rocket science. I think my favorites are the Lacecaps, which are Macrophyllas.
- There are so many varietals, it is difficult to keep track of them all. GMO hybrids.
- The Oakleaf varieties seem to be the toughest, least fragile. Big white blooms, late summer.
- Many or even most varietals never want to be pruned and just want space to grow. It does not work to try to control a varietal that wants to be 15' high and 20' wide. Those big ones create their own cool, moist microclimate underneath.
Every year we start to get buds on our bush and then we get a late killer frost. Our poor hydrangea hasn't bloomed in years. The one time we threatened to replace it, it must have heard us, that year we had tons of flowers. LOL Maybe I need to go threaten it again...
We live in an agricultural zone 4A which is probably not good. In the Chinook belt of Alberta, so more difficult to grow things than in areas further north where no Chinooks. Actually, reminds me of growing up in a mountain town in British Columbia where my parents could - because of the abundant snow cover - have a rock garden the residents of the communities further down the valley could only dream of.