Oh, It’s a very good year

After my huge disappointment last year with my hydrangea, I was fully prepared to return to Kilbourne Grove and find horrible and wilty hydrangea. I had been reading people’s blogs, and they were all talking about how hot and dry the summer had been. No one is watering my garden while I am away (no one had been watering it when I lived in Toronto either), I am a firm believer in the sink or swim method. As a weekend gardener (and now long, long distance gardener),  I cannot afford to coddle plants. So I was very prepared.

And very pleasantly surprised.

My ‘free’ hydrangeas are really settling into their space and starting to fill out.

Hard to believe that these were all ‘blue’ hydrangea at one time. I was a bit of a hydrangea snob, would not take the bright pink ones. Now they are all various shades of pink, and purple, not a blue to be seen. I now that you need acidic soil to keep them blue, which we do not have in Ontario, and I am actually starting to prefer these colours.

I love how the Allium christophii seed heads look with the hydrangea. I wish I had been there when they flowered, very curious how it looked.

You can also see some seed heads of Allium ‘Purple Sensation’, these have been planted a number of years, but I wanted to extend the Allium season by planting the christophii.

The Hakonechloa ‘Aureola’ is just one of the variety of plants that I am testing at the base of the hydrangea. As you know, I have muscari planted there and when it finishes flowering I find it a bit tatty. Along with the Hakonechloa  I am testing Nepeta, Hosta and Geranium ‘Rozanne’. The geranium was the first to go, I dug it up and moved the plants to the Allee in September. I love the plant, and it certainly flowers heavily, weaving its way through the hydrangea. Unfortunately it also weaves its way onto the path, and I prefer something a bit more tailored looking in this section of the garden. You can also see at the top of the photo the nepeta. Looking at at here, I am not feeling it, but I think I should give it another couple of years before I make a decision. See how messy the muscari seedheads get, must hide them.  We shall see how the other plants make out over the next few years.


16 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    lynne said,

    What a super surprise !! I love it when things like that happen.

    My super surprise this week is my cherry sapling suddenly blossoming. I’m over the moon, since I thought it was dead 🙂

  2. 3

    Your hydrangeas are looking really good – mine used to be pink, but I mulch them in the spring with leaf mould. Over the years most of them have turned blue, but it has taken a long time. I’m amazed that your plants all look so good when you are away so much – you must be doing something right !

    • 4

      Oh thanks Pauline, for the advice about the hydrangea. I do have some leaf mould, had been saving it for the hellebores, but shall instead use it on the Lime Walk, next spring of course. I think I just lucked out in the right spot, pure chance.

  3. 5

    catmint said,

    I always feel that one of the best things about leaving the garden for a while is to see how things have grown on my return. Like with your hydrangeas, if they are in the right place they will naturalize and thrive. Happy testing … hope nepeta passes (lol)

  4. 7

    Barbara H. said,

    They look wonderful! A nice offset to all the weeds that awaited your return, I think. In a couple of years your plantings will really have taken off, I hope. Sure looks like a lot of them are doing well.

  5. 9

    Ooh more Alliums please, I love those seedheads!

  6. 11

    Laurrie said,

    You’ve got some nice combos going. I really like how the aurea Hakone grass contrasts with the hydrangea. And dried Christophii alliums peeking up through anything are a delight!

  7. 13

    Jean said,

    Wow! What a pleasant surprise that must have been. Like you, I prefer my hydrangeas blue; but these look wonderful (and if I could keep any hydrangea happy in my sandy soil, I’d be happy).

  8. 15

    Compost Guy said,

    Lovely hydrangeas. Mine were not cooperating this year!

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