Our First Hydrangea Society Meeting & Hydrangea Pairing Ideas
It's raining and cold with October's fallen oak (Quercus falcata) leaves sticking all over our car and we're going to a Hydrangea meeting?
This is what I thought as we hustled 12 Hydrangea macrophylla's into our Rav4, feeling how many nursery folk feel when we head to the city. Awkward.
Fast forward to the end: It was well worth heading to Atlanta for our first American Hydrangea Society meeting. Not only did our plants debut (even before we are ready to offer any on-line for sale) as participants in the AHS's plant raffle, but we hugged old friends, made new ones, and were inspired by Robert Mallet, the evening's speaker.
We had many comments on our Root Pouches, a grow bag typically used for growing plants, but we had them embroidered and are using them as branded cachepots. The idea is to keep the pouches pristine and slip our pots/plants into them for a gift or merchandising presentation that pops.
Mr. Mallet is a plant raconteur of Hydrangea gardening and Hydrangea book-writing fame. His talk was a beautiful walkthrough of Hydrangea vignettes from his Shamrock Collection in Normandy, France.
Here are his ideas for hydrangea combinations, transcribed from my imperfect notes that were written in the dark while being visually transported to France via Mr. Mallet’s slides. Please post any comments, clarifications, and corrections – I was literally writing these in the dark.
The soil in North France where the Shamrock collection has its roots is acidic, so flowers are blue in the Shamrock collection and consistently described as such in the lecture. I have made no attempt to describe the pink iterations.
List of Pleasing Hydrangea Pairings from Mr. Mallet
[Comments in brackets are my own.]
- Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' & Eupatorium maculatum a.k.a. Joe Pye Weed [Would we who find Joe Pye in a nearby ditch ever have thought of such a sweet combination?]
- H. involucrata ‘Hortensis’, H. macrophylla Teller Hybrids, and 'Wahabi' a Japanese variety [but I can't find 'Wahabi' in books or on the Internet, maybe I wrote it down incorrectly?]
- The macs 'Rotschwanz' [Teller Series] & 'Merveille Sanguinea' - both reds
- H. mac. 'Alpengluhen' & mixed Cityline Hybrids – The Cityline Hybrids were developed in Europe, compact, more colorful, more sun tolerant flowers
- H. mac. 'Izu no Hana' & 'Blaumeise' [='Teller Blue'] - Same color blue in the picture, but different shaped lacecaps
- 'Rathen' – Corinne Mallet found in Japan; dries well, keeps the blue when dried [I saw 'Rathen' listed as a Saxon type on the wilds of the Internet]
- Mixed Saxon types [Saxon types are bred to be dwarf by a breeder based in Saxony, Germany]
- Trio of new Japanese macrophyllas:
-'Xian' [='Opal' in the U.S., part of the Everlasting Series] – strong stem, big flower, dark medium blue
-'Lutin' – light blue lacecap
-'Angel Light' – white lacecap
- H. mac. 'Wedding Gown' – white turns red [mophead turning into a lacecap-ish flower, with double sepals]
- H. mac. 'Casino' – pink, new, French
- H. mac. Cityline 'Cote d’Azure' & a white H. paniculata type [went too fast for me to catch exactly what type]
- H. mac. 'Amethyst' & 'Violetta' - RM says both flower practically all the time
- H. mac. 'Apotheose' & 'Leopold II'
- H. mac. 'Nikko Blue', 'Victoria', & 'White Bouquet' [='Regula']
- H. mac. 'Sibilla' [='Sybilla' or 'Masja'] – mophead, he said if you see a Hydrangea in Normandy, France, this is it
- H. mac. 'Mme. Plumecocq' – he says this is not good, mophead
- Mix Normandy – Robert explained that this is the mixed Hydrangea style in Normandy where no two are alike
- H. mac. 'Penny Mac', H. mac. 'Blushing Bride', H. quercifolia ‘Ice Crystal’
- H. serrata subsp. yezoensis ‘Varengeville’ – angled stem, found at Shamrock Collection, named after city where Shamrock located. [I read someplace out in space that yezoensis is the most northerly form of serrata, but yezoensis is not listed in GRIN, so ?]
- H. serrata 'Fuji-no-taki' ['Fuji Waterfall'] – we were told that it flowers all summer in Normandy, lacecap, white
- H. mac. Cityline 'Zurich' [this particular city name may not be available in the U.S.], H. paniculata 'Early Sensation' [='Quick Fire' in the U.S.], and H. paniculata 'Dharuma'
- H. arborescens 'Bella Anna' & H. paniculata 'Quick Fire'
- H. paniculata 'Phantom', H. paniculata ‘October Pride’ [the picture showed October Pride as a BIG plant, but it is hard to verify on the Interwebs and I'll tell you why - I saw it listed on two Russian nursery sites, but could only read the Latin name. Phew! The International System of Nomenclature works!]
- Copaline – pale blue, needs shade, blooms again
- Lutens – French hybrid
- H. aspera ‘Kawakami’ – hardy, centered flower
- LK49 and Leuchtfeuer - mixed reds
- LK49 and Merkur
- Blue Billow and Spreading Beauty (turns or fades to red)
- Fall Colors: Atlantic, Gentian Blue, Twist N Shout
After his lecture, I was able to get Mr. Mallet to sign my copy of Hydrangeas: Species & Cultivars. A must have reference.
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