Hydrangea hybridizers must be a very busy bunch of plant people. Undoubtedly, it’s an exaggeration to say a new hydrangea cultivar is introduced every month, but sometimes it seems that way.
Series and collections are expanded almost yearly: Endless Summer, Invincibelle, Cityline and Tuff Stuff all have new additions. Another new series by Proven Winners called Let’s Dance includes Big Band, Cancan, Diva!, and Big Easy — so far. We’re probably hearing even more about hydrangeas these days because 2020 was named Year of the Hydrangea by the National Gardening Bureau. The NGB, celebrating its 100th anniversary, is a non-profit organization that educates and inspires home gardeners.
My fondness for these beautiful shrubs is deep, although I acknowledge they can be real water hogs in hot, dry summers. They’re the first woody plants to flag during a drought.
If you love hydrangeas, too, check out:
• Tips on how to dry hydrangeas
• “It Isn’t Summer Without Hydrangeas” includes some uncommon varieties.
Pawpaw tree: something different
For an unusual tree, consider planting a pawpaw (Asimina triloba), hardy to Zone 6. They’re natives of Carolinian forests and produce sweet, creamy fruit. If you need more convincing, see “How to Grow a Pawpaw Tree.”
There’s still time
Now that the garlic is harvested and the bed of spring lettuces cleared out, there’s valuable real estate waiting for its next crop. Savvy Gardening has some suggestions — fast-growing vegetables to plant now and harvest in six weeks or less.
If you’re in Toronto this weekend, you might want to visit Fleurs de Villes, fantastical floral pop-ups designed by more than a dozen designers at various outdoor locations in the Bloor/Yorkville area. There are even fleurs de villes chien, too!
A virtual visit to Dan Pearson’s garden
Occasionally, garden designers can be as famous as rock stars. Well, maybe not in North America, but certainly in Great Britain a few are considered full-fledged celebrities. Dan Pearson, who has designed gardens all over the world and several award-winning display gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, is certainly in this league. It’s always enlightening to see what a famous designer’s personal garden looks like. “A Garden Grows in Somerset” shows how Pearson has melded his design aesthetic with Britain’s natural beauty to great effect.