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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Flower Power in Hydrangeas

For the past month in the Mid-Atlantic (counting Maryland and Virginia for this one), the hydrangeas have been off-the-charts stellar in every garden or stand-alone place. This stellarness includes vibrant blues and pinks, as well as robust white petal heads.

Have you noticed them this year?

One friend commented to me that she's had a hydrangea bush for over four years, and this is the first year it "bloomed," and unbelievably so. Over the past few weeks, I've taken several double-takes with outstanding colors and full heads (more than in other years).

According to Mr. Google, hydrangeas do best in moist, free-draining soil and dappled shade – not too sunny and not too shady. Avoid south-facing positions, especially if the soil is very dry. For a very shaded vertical surface, a climbing hydrangea will do best on a north-facing wall. Another fascinating fact is that the color of the hydrangea blooms is primarily influenced by soil acidity and the availability of aluminum in the soil rather than the species of the hydrangea (Thanks, MM!)

Twenty-two years ago, I moved a large hydrangea plant to another flower bed on a different side of the house. It took about five years to "take root" and bloom: one pinky head. I tried to nurture it a bit, but that really didn't help.

Around my neighborhood (and The Best Daughter's neighborhood in Richmond, VA), the hydrangeas in every color and "stripe" are strutting their stuff for the delight of everyone or for those who may pay attention to them.

Have you noticed the colors this year, perhaps deeper and more robust than in years past?

I love this time of year!

Flower Power in all its glory.




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