Sunday, 24 July 2011

Lace Caps

The woodland borders settle to shades of green at this time of the year following  colourful spring and early summer plantings.  Flower-wise the key is subtlety; spikes of white and pale lavender hosta flowers and the creamy lace caps of the hydrangea arborescence 'Annabelle'.

Planted three years ago as a very small specimen this hydrangea has survived two very tough winters with temperatures down as low as -18C and this year it is providing a glorious display.  The colour is a soft cream which appears greenish as the border becomes shaded in the afternoon.

In my experience this type of hydrangea is very easy to care for; the plant can be cut hard back in the winter or early spring before any new growth emerges.  The blooms appear on the current year's growth and this plant has spread year on year.  I have it planted at the edge of the woodland border where it gets the morning sun but is in dappled shade for the remainder of the day and this seems to suit it perfectly.

I'm tempted to try and propogate from this plant; the common methods used are by layering or soft wood cuttings.  It would be lovely to have a few more of these elegant shrubs in the shadier parts of the garden.


Nick said...

You'll find it's spreading by underground "runners" - the easiest way to propagate if you just want a few new plants is to rootle about in the soil, dig up a few inches of runner, and pot it up.

How big do your flower heads get? Do you find they're too heavy for their stems?

Susan@Holly Grove said...

Hi Nick. Welcome to Holly Grove. I'll try root cuttings as you suggest, is there a best time of year to do this?

The flower heads get pretty big, between 20-25cm across, the stems support them well, though not sure how they would be in a more exposed part of the garden or if we had some really heavy rain.