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This lacecap hydrangea looks very different now than back in early October

"Chantilly Lace" (Hydrangea serrata 'Woodlander') Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/5, 1/160s, -1.7EV, ISO 1000, Built-in iTTL Fill Flash, -0.7EV

Photographed in my camera’s monotone color mode and then enhanced a bit using Silver Efex Pro’s High Contrast Red Filter, this little bloom is certainly living up to her lacy description!

Moving plants around a garden is a constant activity. Plants die or get too large for the space, get eaten by deer (or squirrels or rabbits or woodchucks, etc.) or you just simply want a change.

When we lost a rhodie due to winterkill last year, we moved an established rhodie to its spot and then looked for a new shrub to replaced the transplanted rhodie. A lacecap hydrangea called “Woodlander” seemed the perfect fit as it stays relatively small, blooms late in the season, and also has winter interest when its leaves take on a purple-ish cast. 

"Woodland Fairy" (Hydrangea serrata 'Woodlander') Nikon D300, 105mm macro, F/8, 1/60s, -0.7EV, ISO 400

"Woodland Fairy" (Hydrangea serrata 'Woodlander') Nikon D300, 105mm macro, F/8, 1/60s, -0.7EV, ISO 400

Unlike the larger, showy mophead hydrangeas, the lacecap varieties are more delicate, with blossoms intermixed with buds giving an overall lacy effect. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the lacecap but it definitely has earned its spot in the garden!

I don’t think I pruned my Hydrangea paniculata tree properly last fall, since I’ve ended up with long, floppy stems that can’t support the weight of the enormous conical-shaped blossoms. 

Therefore, my little tree is looking a bit pathetic – Ooops!

"Hopelessly Devoted" (Hydrangea paniculata 'Pink Diamond') Nikon D300, 105mm macro, F/6.3, 1/200s, +0.3EV, ISO 400

"Hopelessly Devoted" (Hydrangea paniculata 'Pink Diamond') Nikon D300, 105mm macro, F/6.3, 1/200s, +0.3EV, ISO 400

Mind you, the flowers (which are currently changing over from pure white to blush pink) are quite lovely. I would just prefer them to be vertical!

Next year, I hope to get this right! 🙂

This variety of mophead hydrangea is named ‘Forever Pink’.

“Forever Yours” (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Forever Pink’) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/11, 1/100s, -0.7EV, ISO 640

Um, really? In my garden, a more apt name would be ‘Never Pink’!

Our landscape is extremely acidic (lots of tall pines) and no matter how much I amend the soil with lime, the closest I have come is purple-y rose or mauve. That’s okay. My garden certainly isn’t lacking for pink!

The compact shrub is covered with mounds of variegated blossoms ranging in hues of cream, lavender and soft blue. The cut blooms make lovely arrangements and with so many on one plant, a few are never missed!

Say, have you ever cut hydrangea stems and put them right into a vase of water only to have them wilt after a few hours? Well, here are a two proven techniques to prevent that:

(1). The Hot Water Method

  • Plan to cut hydrangea blooms in the morning while the weather is cool.
  • Take water to the garden in a container and drop stems into water immediately after cutting (important).
  • Indoors, boil water and pour it into a cup or any container.
  • Cut the hydrangea stems to the desired length.
  • Stand the stems of the hydrangeas in the hot water for 30 seconds.
  • Immediately put into room temperature water and then arrange.

 

(2). The Alum Dip Method

The alum used in this method can usually be found in the spice section of the grocery store. Occasionally, it is found with the pickling supplies.

  • Plan to cut hydrangea blooms in the morning while the weather is cool.
  • Take water to the garden in a container and drop stems into water immediately after cutting (important).
  • As you arrange the flowers, recut the stems and dip the bottom 1/2 inch into powdered alum.
  • Arrange as usual in room temperature water.
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