Summer images in our minds…they seem so strong, so real…as
if we were really there. When I think of summer, I think of warm breezes, lazy
days, and lots of time to linger in the fully blooming garden. Ok, it’s all
unrealistic, right? We rarely have “warm” breezes out here in the Northwest
(I’m from Ohio where it is really warm) and who gets to be lazy and linger
these days. Oh well…the images are wonderful and keep us going.
Back to lingering…When
I imagine the summer garden, it’s
not in great detail; it is mostly a mass of color and fragrance. But what does
stand out in my mind in the summer garden are the ever-popular Hydrangeas. What
a fabulous garden plant! Long blooming flowers in quite the range of colors,
sizes and shapes. Containers, borders or focal points; Hydrangeas are the
ultimate summer plant.
If you want the glory of the Hydrangea but don’t have room
for one of the big H. macrophylla,
consider one of the more compact varieties such as ‘Pia.’ This diminutive plant
grows to only 24-30" but is covered with delicate “hortensia” type blooms.
‘Pia’ works great in containers on the patio too.
There are many varieties to
choose from in the Hydrangea
genus. Many of you are familiar with the “old” favorites like ‘Nikko Blue’ and
‘Glowing Embers.’ A newer blue-flowered form is ‘Blue Billow.’ Steel-blue
lacecaps cover this plant in horizontal layers as it grows wider than high. H. ‘Variegata’ is another neat blue lacecap but with
striking white variegation on its blue-green leaves. I have one by my door and
this year it will be big enough to cut some of the numerous blooms off for
inside and still keep plenty of beauty for the garden.