A June tour of hydrangeas in bloom
Marion Shaw has loved gardening all her life. She learned from her mother and grandmother. This week (June 7), she had suggested that it was a good time for me to bring Dekie and Sylvia and Randy Eidson for an evening viewing of her blooming hydrangeas. (Sylvia’s garden is featured here) I’d like to share the tour with you.
First off, Marion loves all living things—except snakes. The dogs and cats (and probably some ants and earthworms) followed us as we walked around the beautiful mountain garden. Marion has been working on this particular landscape garden for almost 20 years. She has done almost all of the work herself. I was honored to be told that I was the only landscaper to ever work on this yard, and then humbled when I realized that all I did was install a rock walkway. I had taken my camera for a tour of the garden earlier in the year on February 20. You may wish to see that article here.
I fell in love with the “lace cap” hydrangeas. I love the way the blooms form as a small mass in the center and then open from the outside to the inside.
Marion told me that she only bought a few of her plants and then rooted cuttings for the rest. Here is a photo of the wild “woods hydrangea”. I guess this is where all of the unique varieties come from.
Below is a picture of the low growing blue lace cap, “Beni-Gaku” It is very hard to find blues for the garden. Marion said that it turns a bright red in September.
The Annabelle hydrangea flower comes out a brilliant white and then turns to a light green as the season progresses.
I had to stop and take a picture of this lichen covered bench. I don’t know about sitting on it, but it sure is neat looking.
I saw a big patch of red on the hillside and asked about it. Marion said it was “monarda” or “bee balm”. She told me the variety was “Jacob Cline” and that she liked it because it wasn’t as susceptible to fungus as are the other varieties of monarda.
Further up on the hill was a grouping of Oak leaf and Nikko blue hydrangeas with a spot of yellow daylilies. Marion said she was going to take out the daylilies because the yellow, while pretty, was out of place.
“Feel the blooms on this Ayesha hydrangea”, Marion said. They are soft and pliant like a sponge. We all got a feel and grinned.
We moved on to another specimen “Beni-Gaku” hydrangea. I think this could be one of my favorites, but there are so many to choose from
A wall of oak leaf hydrangeas forms a screen from the neighbors on the other side of the driveway. Some varieties other than the old fashioned oak leaf are “Alice”, “Haye’s Starburst”, and “Snowflake” which is a double oak leaf.
I was taken with the “Haye’s Starburst” which, she told me, “holds its head up even in the rain. It starts as a brilliant pink, turns to white, and then to a blue in the fall.”
Here’s a close up of the bloom on the blue lace cap. I love the way the blooms form.
Another oak leaf hydrangea was sticking its head up over a rock wall. This one, with lime green leaves is called “Little honey.” The light green leaves add a nice focal point to the garden.
The “Lady in red” is named for its red stems that add color to the winter garden.
A pink lace cap is inter planted with southern woods fern.
As the available light was going away, I stopped and enjoyed this multi level planting of southern woods ferns, pink lace cap hydrangea, and a climbing hydrangea which will bloom later in the year.
After the tour, as we enjoyed a glass of sweet tea on the veranda, Marion told me about having her garden featured in Southern Living in June of 2002. I told her that lots of gardens get featured in Southern Living, but hers is one of a very select few to be chronicled in Johntheplantman. I enjoyed that.
If you wish to see how Marion’s garden looked in February, click here
I hope you got some good ideas, or at least enjoyed the tour. Is it any wonder that I love my job?
Got Questions? Enter a comment. I always try to answer.
I try to put up a new article every Sunday. Stay in touch. Share it with your friends.
If you live in or around the northwest Georgia area and would like to have a consultation with johntheplantman, you may contact John Schulz by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org . Do not send pictures or attachments as they will be deleted.
As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?