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rouge21_gw

HYDRANGEA 2017

rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago

I know there is a dedicated forum for hydrangeas but it can be helpful having "them" as part of this forum as well.

TUFF STUFF I really like this lacecap. We have had it for several years and so far it has been our experience that It blooms perfectly each July on new wood. (I just wish the flowers would last longer, but maybe that is a lacecap 'thing').

BOBO: The ones shown below are close to being in full bloom and the flowers can look fine into October! (With a gradual shift to pink with cooler weather).

Please post pictures or descriptions of your 2017 hydrangeas.

Comments (42)

  • NHBabs z4b-5a NH
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    H. serrata Tuff Stuff blooms reliably on new wood here also. This one is in its fourth season I think.

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a) thanked NHBabs z4b-5a NH
  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Excellent 'Babs'.

    How large is yours as ours is larger than I was anticipating when it went in the ground...4 years back. (The one pictured above is 3 feet high and 4 feet in width).

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  • GardenHo_MI_Z5
    6 years ago

    Rouge love those Bobos. Waiting patiently for mine to get that size...

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a) thanked GardenHo_MI_Z5
  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Thanks GH. I have decided that some of the group are too large for their arrangement. I plan to be more severe next late winter when pruning.

  • GardenHo_MI_Z5
    6 years ago

    What size are they about 3 x 3?

  • woodyoak zone 5 southern Ont., Canada
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Very impressive Bobos Rouge. My poor one is just barely hanging on in the front garden - too much sun and not enough water I think.... It is doing a little bit better in the cooler, damper conditions this year than it did in the very dry summer last year. I will be getting a few blooms from it shortly but nowhere near what yours look like! NHBabs - your more acidic soil shows clearly in the color of your Tuff Stuff. I like that neither-pink-nor-blue color!

    Hydrangeas are one of my favorite plants and we have a lot of them here. I just went trough my tag binders to make a list of what we have.

    In the front garden:

    - Bobo (see comments above!)

    - Tiny Tuff Stuff (VERY tiny - is gradually getting 'eaten' by 'Aunty Sherry' peony!)

    - Tuff Stuff

    - Let's Dance Starlight (very similar to Tuff Stuff but a lighter pink. They are side by side so the color difference is obvious. Both are getting too big for their space....)

    - White Moth (my favorite variety - large, tall, long-blooming)

    - White Dome (short filler under the White Moths along the garage)

    - Little Lamb (also a short filler under the garage White Moths; white flowers fade to pink)

    - The Swan (slow to develop - spends a lot of years as a floppy ugly duckling! The sterile petal parts of the flowers are very large. Our ugly duckling is finally starting to show signs of being a swan....)

    - Bombshell (very small but does well in sun for us. Late bloomer - flowers just starting to develop now.)

    In the back garden:

    - Bluebird (15 years old - fading away.... one of the first hydrangeas I tried)

    - Climbing hydrangea (originally planted to try to hide the old shed that we tore down years ago. Hydrangea moved to north fence when old shed torn down. Fence is chainlink so vine is tied to or woven through the mesh. Not a prolific bloomer - too dry/too much shade...?)

    - Tardiva (does not flower well where it is located)

    - White Dome

    - Annabelle

    - Kyushu

    - Blushing Bride

    - oakleaf hydrangea (1 unknown variety that rarely blooms - winter kill of buds, plus 'Pee Wee' that blooms more reliably

    - Quadricolor (variegated; not zone-hardy here but small bit keeps surviving but is barely noticeable!)

    - an unknown paniculata - lost the tag....

    Surprisingly perhaps, the ones in the sunny front garden are generally better performers than the ones in the shady backyard. So they don't seem to be as much of a shade plant as is often thought - definitely sun-part shade in my books!

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a) thanked woodyoak zone 5 southern Ont., Canada
  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Yikes 'woody'...you have tons of hydrangeas!

    I have enjoyed seeing your "White Moth" in person.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    GH, the largest is 4 feet wide by 3 feet tall (including the blooms). I am confident that is the largest it will get. Next late winter I will be brave and prune them all back much more than has been the case in the past just to see if this ha any adverse effect on these shrubs.

  • mpagmom (SW Ohio)
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for pointing me over here! How do you like your bobos when they turn pink? Some h. paniculata definitely look better better than others. Your pictures are gorgeous!

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a) thanked mpagmom (SW Ohio)
  • sherrygirl zone5 N il
    6 years ago

    Only have three pics so far this season, some of my hydrangea are a little late blooming. This is Ruby Slippers before it turns reddish.

    i think this is Blue Nano? Help me if I'm wrong!
    Tiny Tuff Stuff just added this June, doing well. I have a few more to add tomorrow, no current pictures. I have several Limelights that are at least a week behind last years bloom time.

    Sherry

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  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    beautiful pics everyone..so jealous of the quantity of blooms on the paniculatas..these pics were taken weeks ago..pic#1 has Bloomstruck and White Dome..pic#2 Annabelles


    rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a) thanked nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis
  • mpagmom (SW Ohio)
    6 years ago

    This is a Little Lime I planted several years ago. It was in a quart container from a mail order company, and I paid all of $9.99 for it. I meant to plant it right away, but I ended up neglecting it and left it outside all winter with no protection. I was super surprised that it was alive in the spring, and I planted it to see what it would do. It has bloomed the last five years or so, but this year it is glorious.

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  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    How do you like your bobos when they turn pink?

    If it hasnt been too dry a season the pinky blooms are quite nice ie not 'dirty'.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "but nowhere near what yours look like"

    'woody', as this border of 8 is front and centre out front I pay special attention to these shrubs so that they perform. For example I throw compost and rotted manure around the base of each several times a year.

  • mpagmom (SW Ohio)
    6 years ago

    Thanks, rouge! I have a prominant spot in my front foundation plantings where I want to replace some under-performing Blushing Brides. I've given them five years, and they aren't making the cut. I had them in a similar spot at my old house and they were great from the start, but these have been bad. I want something 2 (or 3 at the most) feet tall and wide, and I assumed I wanted white, but seeing the Tuff Stuff and Tiny Tuff Stuff has me rethinking white. I love the lacy look. Bobo is a strong contender, but the ones I've seen in garden centers around here don't look so hot. I'm intrigued by Baby Lace, but that might be pushing it on size and I can't find much real-world information on it. I have never been disappointed in my H. paniculatas and I love the cold-hardiness and drought tolerance. I have no experience at all with H. serrata.

    Perhaps woodyoak could chime in with some experience on these. The location is generally north-facing and gets sun until early afternoon.

  • woodyoak zone 5 southern Ont., Canada
    6 years ago

    I have Blushing Bride and I like them but they are floppy for me in the location where they are - too much shade I think, plus I tend to neglect that area around the time I should be pruning them! Tiny Stuff Stuff is cute but it is so small that it doesn't seem capable of holding its own against vigorous perennials in the densely planted bed it is in here. I suspect that it will disappear entirely in a year or two. Like you, mpagmom, I'm fond of the H. paniculatas for their toughness and ease of pruning. Little Lamb is small - so far at least (I find info on size of hydrangeas varies on different websites and often doesn't match my experience so I never trust it!) It is also a little floppy - I don't prune it enough to properly develop a strong framework. Some years the fade-to-pink phase is attractive and some years the color is muddy - but that's an issue with a lot of the whites that fade to pink. Bobo is very small for me - probably because it can't tolerate my 'benign neglect' regime which is a little too heavy on the 'neglect' and a bit light on the 'benign' :-) Bombshell is a nice small one for me - I don't have any good pictures of it though.... It does need pruning in its early years to cut back floppy stems that develop, so you end up with a stiffer framework of stems capable of supporting the flowers. It's a late-to-start bloomer for me - it's just developing the flowerbuds now. One nursery site I use talks about it potentially being bare at the base. I haven't really noticed that because, like most of my plants, it's part of a dense planting (the driveway border in this case) so there are other things filling in around it.

    I'm not sure any of that helps you.... Pick one that appeals to you, seems to meet your needs, and is easy to prune (e.g. a H. paniculata) and give it a shot. Experimenting is a large part of the fun of gardening! If you have a clear idea of the look you want it to have, that should make it relatively easy to motivate yourself to do any necessary pruning.

  • mpagmom (SW Ohio)
    6 years ago

    Thank you for all your insights woodyoak! I agree with you that you can't trust info on sizes, and that's why I wanted to ask those who have experience in an area similar to mine. I can't understand why my current blushing brides are so bad since I had great luck with them in an almost identical location in a house only a mile or so from my current one. How do you like your Tuff Stuff? I'm leaning heavily toward ah H. paniculata, though. How small is your very small Bobo? I saw some at a garden center today that looked like they were already over 2 feet tall. At $50 each in 3-gallon containers, I was not at all tempted to buy them. I'll definitely look for Bombshell - I'm not familiar with that one. I also have other things filling in around it so I wouldn't worry about the bare base either.

    I agree that it is fun to experiment, but I love the rest of this particular area and am just waiting for the right hydrangea that will fit the space and finish it off. This is the first year I haven't done a major re-work of an area, but I'm making my plans to replace a few non-performers this fall.

  • woodyoak zone 5 southern Ont., Canada
    6 years ago

    mpagmom - What conditions is your Blushing Bride in at this place compared to your previous place? The specific site details of sun and moisture etc. probably account for most of the difference even if the two sites are not too far away from each other. My Blushing Brides are looser and floppier this year, which I'm putting down to lax pruning in spring, and the damp, cool weather we've had promoting lots of vigorous - but soft - growth in stems. Here is a view of them taken just now from the living room window. There is one on either side of the shed door. The white you see on the left side is mainly Pee Wee oakleaf hydrangea - which is about 6-8' away on the other side of a path but, due to the angle I took the picture at, they look to be right beside the shed:

    My Bobo is very small indeed! On Rouge's 'Bobo is bodacious' thread, you can see that I bought it in late summer 2013 (in response to seeing Rouge's!) Then we had two dry summers, particularly last summer! Bobo is in full sun and far away from a hose so didn't get watered very much. It hung on 'by the skin of its teeth' but dwarfed itself! The cooler, moister condition this year has revived it a bit. I had planted it as a substitute for Phlox 'David' which was getting too big and seeding around too much. The phlox has returned and needs removing again.... It is bigger than Bobo as you can see in these pictures:

    Closer view of Bobo:

    (As you can see, I plant very densely indeed and the cool, moist conditions this year has meant most things are extra vigorous! I looked for Tiny Tuff Stuff - it has totally vanished, undoubtedly smothered by its more vigorous neighbours! It was there earlier in the spring but I can't see it now. It would be a good one to add to a perennial or annual bed where all the plants are low-growing.)

    When I was out taking pictures this morning I compared the full-sized Tuff Stuff to the neighbouring, very similar Let's Dance Starlight. I prefer the lighter, softer pink of the Starlight, but Tuff Stuff is looking better as the flowers start to fade - Tuff Stuff's fertile flowers are turning an attractive color while Starlight's are just fading to tan. I tried to get a picture that includes both but you can only see a couple of flower of each of them - hopefully enough so you can see the difference... (and you can see once again how dense things are planted!)

    This picture shows more of the area they are in, with some of the White Moth hydrangeas visible too:

    Bombshell may be in danger of going the same way as Tiny Tuff Stuff! It's hard to see in this picture because the flowers are just forming so it doesn't stand out much and is getting overwhelmed by peonies on one side and hardy hibiscus on the other. and Pink Beauty potentilla in front. Bombshell is in the narrow bed along the driveway - the plants in the background (including The Swan hydrangea) are actually in another bed across a path that is not visible in this picture. Bombshell is probably another one most suited for placing in a bed with lower-growing annuals or perennials.

    (Bombshell was actually planted there to replace the potentilla which looked like it was dying out a couple of years ago. BUT the potentilla has revived itself and may well win the battle for space in the bed!)

    I'm not sure all this helps you or not! I tend to plant what I think will work and then see how it goes... My basic gardening principle is 'survival of the fittest' and the plants get a regime of benign neglect :-) If they can't survive with that, bye-bye.... So, much of my garden consists of tough survivors!


  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I want to replace some under-performing Blushing Brides. I've given them five years, and they aren't making the cut.

    We had several BB and ES that we have shovel pruned over the past few years due to very inconsistent performance. (Having said that this season I see some glorious specimens in our neighbourhood).

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    So pretty 'g_g'. TS is a wonderful hydrangea.

  • sherrygirl zone5 N il
    6 years ago

    A few more, Little Lamb.

    Ruby Slippers changing color. And Little Lime.

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a) thanked sherrygirl zone5 N il
  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    'sherry', I have always liked RS. I did plant one a couple of years ago but it failed to thrive. (To be honest it probably wasn't put in the best location). Please post more pics when it is at its best.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Here is "Fire and Ice" (or is it "Quick Fire"?). It is squashed in at the back of this bed up against a fence. Each late winter I am forced to trim it back to have it 'fit'.

  • NHBabs z4b-5a NH
    6 years ago

    Rouge, my Tuff Stuff is 3'-3 1/2' in all directions.

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a) thanked NHBabs z4b-5a NH
  • Marie Tulin
    6 years ago

    I'm glad you aren't going to pay $50 for a 3 gallon plant. That is not necessary if you can defer gratification awhile . The sales will start in a month or 6 weeks.. Make a list of the hydrangeas you want, put it in the glove compartment of the car and after Sept 1 (or whenever shrubs go on sale in your area) haunt nurseries (and BigBox and grocery stores if you are willing to plant shop there) and find the hydrangeas. Funny thing is many people will pass on plants they haven't heard of and pick the famous ones. You may find some really choice cultivars later in the season. I've gotten the majority of my hydrangeas for between $5-$15 bucks. They may be small, sometimes misshapen but in three years they are beautiful. Meanwhile, I've gotten real life lessons in late season planting and pruning.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks 'Babs'. My two are similarly....one a bit smaller, one a bit larger.

  • mpagmom (SW Ohio)
    6 years ago

    I've been out of town a few days, so I am finally answering woodyoak's questions from Tuesday:

    What conditions is your Blushing Bride in at this place compared to your previous place? The specific site details of sun and moisture etc. probably account for most of the difference even if the two sites are not too far away from each other.

    The location is as similar as could be - both are foundation plantings on the north side of the house. I liked the old landscaping so well that I copied it for the new house, so even the surrounding plants are the same. If anything, the new house gets more a bit more sun because it is a ranch rather than a two-story. Watering is the same - I give them plenty of supplemental water the first couple years and then water when they ask for it (by becoming droopy). Cutting off the dead stuff at the end of winter is the same. I gave the ones at my new house a long time to prove themselves worthy because we did have two winters with exceptional cold. The last winter was very mild and they are still pretty pathetic. I have never had a good show from these. I thought the problem might be that I chose and planted the ones at my old house, and the landscaper planted the ones at my new house. It's a landscaper I used in the past, but many of the plants this time suffered from a definite failure to thrive. I replaced two a couple years ago, and the new ones are no better.

    Now I'm looking around my neighborhood, and nearly all the houses in a new section down the street have white hydrangeas--either foundation plantings or standard form at the corner of the house. I despise it when there is too much of anything (even my beloved hydrangeas), so I may want to go for something like Tuff Stuff or Starlight Let's Dance that nobody else has. I would just want to be sure they would stay in the size I need without too much of a fight and that they would bloom reliably. And, of course, I have to see what I can find at the garden centers.

    Everyone's pictures and experience are very helpful to me, so thank you!

    And rouge21, I hope I didn't hijack your thread too much with my questions. I will try to make up for it by posting two pictures.

    White diamonds planted a couple years ago:

    Little quick fire planted last summer, I think:

    It looks quite nice up close, but I don't think the picture captured it.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    And rouge21, I hope I didn't hijack your thread too much with my questions.

    Definitely not. I learn so much from such stuff.

    I will try to make up for it by posting two pictures.

    That's what I am looking for!

  • woodyoak zone 5 southern Ont., Canada
    6 years ago

    mpagmom - I thought of you around noon when we were at the RBG rock garden and I saw this run of Blushing Bride hydrangeas! They were just starting to flush with pink so look more white than pink in the picture....:

    From your description, it's hard to guess why yours are not thriving - something to do with the soil maybe? Or perhaps they are not really Blushing Brides....? Do you have somewhere else in your yard where you could move them to see if they do better there?

  • Jenn
    6 years ago

    I heard Limelights were a bit harder for a novice to mess up compared to the more delicate hydrangeas, so I got one last August. I think it might like it here, based on one year's growth:

    I also have a Blue Enchantress I picked up on a very cheap clearance earlier this year, but I foolishly planted it too close to the limelight. You can tell because you can't see it in the picture, but it is there, behind the limelight. Oops. It seems to be done with its second flush of blooms, so I think it is a pretty early bloomer. Here's a shot from earlier this summer.

    I am trying to figure out if I should move it or let it stay settled for a year first, since it was struggling mightily when I bought it. Whatever I decide, I definitely got bit by the hydrangea bug because I have three first year tiny Incrediballs from Bluestone in various perennial beds, and am emptying the entire morning sun bed along that wall of the house of the current lilies to make room for more hydrangeas. (Honestly, the lilies need more sun to avoid legginess. That is my story, and I am sticking to it.)

  • NHBabs z4b-5a NH
    6 years ago

    Jenn, I would probably move your Blue Enchantress this fall on a damp day, and I imagine it won't miss a beat.

  • mpagmom (SW Ohio)
    6 years ago

    Wow, woodyoak, those look amazing.

  • bouquet_kansas
    6 years ago

    All of your gardens are amazing!!!

    rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a) thanked bouquet_kansas
  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    TS and a Bobo side by side:

  • mxk3 z5b_MI
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    At this house, so far I have planted 10 "Annabelle" (a MUST HAVE for colder zones!), some of which were given to me and some of which I purchased, 3 "Sykes Dwarf" Oakleafs and a "Limelight" tree form (both on major clearance last fall), and a "Little Quickfire" paniculata that I bought in June. Obviously, I love hydrangeas LOL! I want to get more oakleafs, I adore the foliage - both in season and in the fall when it turns a gorgeous red - and the huge panicles; when I work on some other beds I will work more in. I've posted in another post re: "Bobo" just didn't do it for me at my other house, so when I wanted a paniculata around the patio, I passed this cultivar right by and went for the "Little Quickfire" instead, which has been quite nice for just being planted.

  • sherrygirl zone5 N il
    6 years ago

    My Limelights finally blooming now, at least two weeks later than last season. These got pruned back to four feet last fall, now they are over six feet tall and blocking a chain link fence.

    Sherry

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    I have planted 10 "Annabelle" (a MUST HAVE for colder zones!),

    I did have 3 Annabelles but after a few years I dug them up and gave them away. I was too bothered by the inevitable floppiness. (I probably should have thought more carefully about other plants to place around them to minimize the look of the 'flop'.)

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Gorgeous 'sherry'. How many Ll are in this grouping?

    (I hem and haw as to when to prune our paniculatas ie late Fall or early Spring or does it matter).

  • woodyoak zone 5 southern Ont., Canada
    6 years ago

    Rouge - I prune ours in the spring - but prune off any bits that are in my way at any time during the growing season! One of the tings I like about them is they seem to be able to take lots of 'abuse' and still do well.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    One of the tings I like about them is they seem to be able to take lots of 'abuse' and still do well.

    Yup. That 's why we have slowly but surely moved towards the "no fuss" paniculatas.

    (I wonder how late in the spring one can prune then back and not affect the arrival of new flowers that same year).

  • sherrygirl zone5 N il
    6 years ago

    Rouge, I have four in this group. I think they have been in my garden 5-6 years. They are my favorite so far, no fuss! I just added a Little Lime last fall and a Tiny Tuff Stuff this spring, time will tell if they are contenders as no fuss plants.

    Sherry