It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens

Wow!

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During a visit to my hometown of Lockport, N.Y., a place I very rarely set foot in, though it’s only 40 minutes away, I noticed that hydrangea heaven seemed to have set up shop on the very block where I grew up.

Oh, yes, I’m sure you’ll all say stuff like “Oh, yeah, I had that, but I got sick of it and pulled it out,” or “We treat those as weeds where I live,” but I adore hydrangeas and would love to have 2 or 3 of these voluptuous beauties on my property. I wonder how they get them to grow that way? I suppose by trimming, but then how do the trunks get so thick? I don’t know the cultivar (PG types?), and have rarely seen the shrub treated this way. Except on this street. It was late and I didn’t have time to closely examine these, or to question their owners.

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Posted by on August 31, 2008 at 10:00 am, in the category It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens.
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12 responses to “Wow!”

  1. TC says:

    I believe those type of hydrangeas are “tree” hydrangeas, or most commonly, pee gee hydrangeas. I have two that are over 20 feet tall. And they’re in their glory now, waning from bright cottony white to a soft pinkish glow.

  2. Wow – beautiful hydrangeas!

  3. Kim says:

    WOW is right – they are stunning!

  4. chuck b. says:

    Whatever, dude. As far as the insects are concerned, that hydrangea’s made out of plastic.

    :)

  5. Layanee says:

    Those are beautiful specimans and look like Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ which are pretty common cemetary trees here in RI. If you prune them back to the main stem in late winter, you will get this kind of flush. These must be pretty old. This cultivar was introduced in the late 1860’s according to Michael Dirr’s book ‘Hydrangeas for American Gardens’.

  6. Old Kim says:

    My favorite and most colorful Hydrangea paniculata is Pinky Winky. I planted one from a 4 inch pot a couple of months ago and it’s grown over 3 ft. It’s now blooming and is outperforming the other Hydrangea paniculatas that I planted 3 years ago.

  7. Michele Owens says:

    Oh, peegee hydrangeas are just SPECTACULAR–a romantic, old-fashioned plant that is really common in the countryside of Washington County near old houses. So, 15 years ago, I planted five of them near my 200 year-old house in the village of Cambridge, NY, where they did…nothing. Then, when I moved to Saratoga five years ago, I planted five here, where they have done…nothing…except wilt every time we fail to get rain for four days.

    I did move one to my country place two years ago, where the soil is rich and moist. It’s still a small bush, but the flowers on it are the size of Pluto. I think it’s clear why this is a graveyard bush–wants super-rich soil!

  8. firefly says:

    We were lucky enough to move to a 70-year-old house that has two giant PeeGee hydrangeas on the southwest side, right up against the windows. The fragrance through the last half of the month of August is heavenly — spicy, smoky perfume drifting into the house. The flowerheads are just starting to blush pink.

    I have pruned them in early spring in varying degrees over the past 3 years, taking out crossed branches and dead bits. In fall they get composted manure and some Holly-Tone plus a new layer of bark mulch.

    They seem much larger this year.

    They are COVERED with bees of all varieties, especially honeybees.

    Funny. I didn’t know honey was made from plastic.

  9. Eliz says:

    Ok, so what I am hearing is that these were probably there when I was growing up and I should have been admiring them rather than playing street frisbee with my mom’s Corelle ware.

  10. Michele Owens says:

    No–I think the street frisbee was a better use of your time. My mother, too, was heavily invested in unbreakable dishes so ugly that since I couldn’t break them, I just decided to leave home at the first opportunity.

  11. Lana says:

    These are spectacular! Just wish we could grow them here in Fla.

  12. Lea says:

    I have one of those in my yard. I inherited the property from my in-laws in Friendship, NY. I love it. And this year it is gorgeous. I would love to have a couple more but have never been able to find them around here. They smell so good this time of year and the petals are so soft.

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