Summer Garden

Growing up, my Mother had an old-fashioned Hydrangea planted under my bedroom window!    I loved that plant.  Plus, living in the South (at that time with no air conditioning), a slight evening breeze would fill my room with the gentle smell of that Hydrangea.   As I sit here…I can smell that gentle breeze.

White gardenias and blue hydrangeas in a beautiful crystal vase

From the gardens of Bloomsbury

Now living in South Carolina, I have one garden dedicated to Hydrangeas.  They love shade/partial sun and plenty of water.  Since last October, we have had rain and rain.  As a result, the Hydrangea garden is just beautiful this year.

The idea soil is consistently moist, well-drained, humus rich soil.  Plus, we use a fair amount of mulch to keep the roots cool and to retain moisture.  Since this garden space is large, very little pruning is required with old-fashioned hydrangeas.  Old-fashioned hydrangeas set their flowers on previous year’s growth, or what is referred to as old wood.   If you feel that you must prune, do so in early spring.  Be sure you just tidy up the plant by removing any dead stems and old flowers.  If you love to cut, go to a different plant.  Deep cutting will almost always result in zero blooms for up to a year.

We us a very slow release fertilizer twice during the summer, usually in June and August.  And, my go to secret weapon:   milorganite.   We have local deer…yes, right here inside the city limits of Camden.  Milorganite fertilizer will keep them out of the garden area.  The other great thing, you can not burn your plants with it.

Today, Hydrangeas abound in many colors and styles,  we mix and match all through our garden for a beautiful flow of colors and designs.  Still, still I treasure the old-fashioned varieties for their colorful, long lasting flowers.  The below picture was made in 2010…we’ve come a very long way since then.