Classic Beach Hydrangeas

THIS is the classic beach landscape of my childhood memories, formed while visiting the charming, family-friendly Buckroe Beach in Virginia. The cottages there were much smaller but I remember them with mophead hydrangeas along the front. These days my beach trips are in spring and fall, before and after hydrangeas bloom, and I’ve missed seeing them.

Or so I realized when I visited Rehoboth Beach, Delaware this week to take advantage of the unseasonably cool weather we’re having. (The air was sure pleasant – until we got hit with dirty, smoky air from Quebec. Damn!)

Anyway, I was thrilled to see my favorite beach town festooned with hydrangea blooms and kept stopping to photograph them as I cruised around town on my bike.  Here are some favorites.

More total commitment to mopheads.

In this newer landscape, a Hollywood Juniper is a nice accent, with boxwoods in the center.

Gorgeous mostly-blue mopheads.

Mophead Mixes

My favorites are the updated plant choices with mixes of mopheads with other hydrangeas (here a later-blooming one I can’t ID).

Nice pairing of mopheads with what looks like some lacecap hydrangeas and perennials. (Love the house paint!)

Another nice mix.

Stunning mix of hydrangea varieties with other shrubs and perennials.  The garden deserves a second view – scroll down.

This shot reveals the primary use of lacecaps for a traffic-stopping corner show.

Mostly boxwoods with a row of oakleaf hydrangas and some randomly placed mopheads.

I bet this homeowner regrets the choice of RED roses in front of pink and lavender hydrangeas.


Lacecaps Alone

A fabulous hedge of lacecap hydrangeas and super-fun mailbox.

Alternatives to Hydrangeas

An extremely fragrant hedge of waxleaf privet.

Readers, can you identify this plant? (My plant-ID app tells me it’s either a smoketree or a panicle hydrangea.)
UPDATE: Miri Talabac at Maryland Extension has ID’d this as a climbing hydrangea vine trained along a fence.

Boxwoods with seasonal color provided by annuals only.

A similar scheme in another modern landscape.

Alternatives to Hedges

Interesting mix of evergreens, mostly conifers.

A very modern look with no shrubs at all.

Another shrub-free new garden, which must look kinda bleak most of the year. Hard pass.

More Beachy Gardens

“Beach Gardens and My Family Secrets.” The secrets are from Buckroe Beach, where I got my love of hydrangeas.

“Rehoboth Beach Landscape Hits and Misses.

“More Beach-Town Garden Hits and Misses.”  More Rehoboth.

“Bed and Breakfast with Garden and Notorious History” about a B&B in Rehoboth.

“The Most Beautiful Bike Trail in the East” about Henlopen State Park, adjacent to Rehoboth Beach.

“The Gardens, Homes and Music of Asbury Park.” My fabulous road trip to New Jersey!