Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Oak Leaf Hydrangea

Hydrangeas aren't for the most part dependable bloomers here, but the oak leaf variety are never fail performers. They will grow in sun or shade, though light shade seems to be their favorite. They bloom in July with white flowers, but as the blooms age, they turn light then darker pink and then by fall have aged to a warm brown shade. They make wonderful dried flowers for fall arrangements needing only to be cut and hung for awhile until thoroughly dry. They will last (barring destruction by marauding kittens) until you cut the next ones in a year. In recent years a number of named varieties have come on the market, including dwarf forms. The species isn't all that huge and the dwarfs aren't all that dwarf, but I guess there is some distinction. Deer occasionally will nip the growth tips, but otherwise seem to leave them along. They also seem pretty drought tolerant which has been a consideration this year for us. These are fairly inexpensive and readily available.

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