All season I have been photographing my beautiful Pinky Winky hydrangea shrub. Now I am ready to share my pictures, in a blooming timeline, to show the progression of the flower color from spring (summer) through fall.
The bush is lopsided because the deer decided that the buds would be a tasty treat (darn deer), but at least they left me some flowering stems.
So here you have the white to pink progression, with a surprise late white flower showing in my last photo. After all the blooms had turned totally dark pink, a lone white bloom appeared. It looks so pretty against the rest of the bush, that I made a hydrangea poster from the image to sell in my BlueHyd store.
If you are unfamiliar with this variety, the flowers begin as all white, then gradually become pink from the bottom up. As time goes on the pink darkens to a beautiful shade, which can be seen in my last image here.
I don’t have the exact dates listed, these photos were taken from the end of July through September. The hydrangeas don’t really start to grow flowers in my area (southwestern New Hampshire) until summer. The pinky winky is a fun one to watch as it changes throughout the season. This bush also attracts a lot of bees. So along with being a beautiful ornamental for the yard, I am helping to feed the wildlife – deer and bees! I don’t mind the bees, but those deer have plenty to eat without ruining my hydrangeas.
It’s May and I have been getting outdoors to check on my hydrangeas and do some yard clean up. This photo of my Pinky Winky hydrangea plant was taken about a week ago, but it still looks about the same. Some leaf buds are forming along the stems, but that’s about it. The Limelight plants look about the same.
I decided to prune them in late Fall last year instead of waiting until Spring. The reason was mainly that when I left the dried flowers on the long stems of the limelight variety, the snow would weigh them down. So I pruned them for the winter and hopefully they will still bloom nicely.
My endless summer plants have larger leaves protruding up from the base of the plant and theBlushing Bridehas little baby plants that are rooted. I plant to dig them up and transplant them once I have a spot for them and the weather has warmed.
All but the Pee Gee are still growing and looking good. I can’t say as much for some of my other perennials. The rhododendrons that I was hoping would get big and beautify the yard are practically dead. Apparently deer consider them a delicious meal and they chew off every leaf during winter. Even with netting over them, they have been devoured. If the plants survive the summer I will try covering them with burlap next winter. Don’t want to think about winter yet though!
It’s hard to believe that it is the end of summer now. I recently took some photos of the flowers remaining in bloom in the yard, and the Pinky Winky is one of the hydrangeas that still looks good.
Although the many deer that frequent my yard come to eat hydrangea buds and leaves, my Pinky Winky shrub still has flowers. They started white then began to show some light pink, and ended up dark pink with some white at the top. Some of the flowers are totally pink.
I think I will try to shape my hydrangeas better before they start blooming next year. This one could end up being a tall tree with the flowers standing upright out of the reach of deer maybe. Pruning will be an experiment, and hopefully I won’t mess up the plant so it won’t bloom. This year I let all my hydrangeas grow “wild” in any way they chose. It’s only their second year in my yard, so I didn’t want to mess with them too much. The Limelight plants are really long and droopy, but have loads of very pretty flowers. Those would do better if they were trimmed for next spring.
When I bought six hydrangea shrubs this past Spring, one of them was a Pee Gee (paniculata – Grandiflora). The tag said that it wanted some shade so after some thought, I ended up putting it at the edge of the yard near some big trees that would shade it partially. I didn’t know that it would bloom that first year but it did and had some very dainty, very white flowers at the ends of it’s long stems.
The flowers were pretty, but they drooped to the ground and we got lots of heavy rain after that which beat the bush down flat almost. By the time summer was over, the shrub was not looking too good. It has many, long thin branches that left the leaves lying in the dirt.