Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Plants for deep shade - Hydrangea arborescens

Smooth hydrangea is usually proposed for sunny places or part-shade, but in such spots we never can provide it with so much water that it does not get discomposed and ugly. It is quite frost-hardy, and plants like this usually do not like our continental hot summers. However, it works well in deep shade, although even there it is among the most water-demanding plants of the garden.

Two autumn pictures of a Hydrangea arborescens 'White Dome' still in development. It is to the left, next to the wall. Here, under the Turkish haze tree it lives in almost complete shade.

When fully grown, it is about 1-1.5 meters high and large.

Unfortunately it is not sold in Hungary, but you can always order or buy it in Praskac.

On the other hand, the 'Annabelle' sport can be always found even at us. Its shrub is similar to the previous one both in shape and size, but its flower is fuller.

You can also often find the sport 'Grandiflora' which is larger than 'Annabelle', but nurseries usually confuse them, and you will see what you had bought only when the plant has reached its maximum size.

All these sports get beautiful yellow in the autumn, and their flowers can be easily dried. If you cut them while white, they remain white even if dried, but in my opinion they are also very attractive when cut in early winter, when they are rather brownish.

In late autumn or early spring I usually cut them back to the soil. This makes them more compact and hinders them in spreading too aggressively.

Saturday, March 6, 2010