Experimenting With A Climbing Hydrangea

potted hydrangea plants
New Hydrangea Plants -bought in 2012

I don’t have a picture of one, but maybe one day I will – the climbing hydrangea will be something new to play with this summer.

From what I’ve read about the climbing hydrangea (and there are many types – and I am researching which one I may want), is that it is a hardy perennial and gets very large. Anyone wanting a climbing hydrangea will need a very sturdy structure for it to cling to.

I had never thought about trying to grow this type, but my new house has a tall, ugly tree trunk in the side yard. I can only guess that the tree broke off in our horrific ice storm a few years ago and left this part of the trunk standing. Fortunately the tree broke away from the house because it was one very big tree and parts of the top are laying in the woods near the base.

But, I think it may be a good spot to grow a climbing hydrangea. The area will get some sun, but not much and that is my main concern. If climbing hydrangeas need sun, it won’t see much until it begins to climb the tree.

I called a local nursery yesterday to ask if they have the climbing hydrangeas and they do! It’s the House By The Side of The Road in Wilton, NH and it’s the same place I bought my 6 new plants last Spring around Mother’s Day, which is a great time to shop for the newest selection of hydrangeas.

Perennial Flowers That Like Shade

Astilbe koblenz
Image via Wikipedia – Astilbe koblenz

I’d like to write about tall perennials that like shade, but I haven’t come across any. 

The best flower for shade is the astilbe (shown).  It has pretty leaves and shoots up tall, colorful and feathery-looking flowers.  It is available in many colors and I especially love the white.  But the flowers are tall and not necessarily the actual plant.

Other Shade-loving Perennials

Hostas are also well known as shade loving plants, but they grow close to the ground with tall shoots that hold their tiny flowers. This is a little “mouse ear” Hosta I planted.

mouse ear hosta plant
Mouse Ear Hosta

Another favorite for the shade is the bleeding heart.

Bleeding heart plant
Bleeding heart plant

Of course many hydrangeas can do well in partly shaded locations and I plan to try some in my front yard (New Hampshire).  The truth is that most flowering plants need a lot of sun to look good, but arranging the plants I have mentioned here in a grouping beneath trees, or in any shaded area, can be beautiful as well.

Heading Into Fall and Not Doing Much Planting

Extinct?
Image by Chiot's Run via Flickr

The New England Fall season brings us a new set of circumstances to deal with and probably not many people are thinking about planting anything.  They are thinking about chopping, splitting and lugging firewood and maybe buying a new or used wood stove.  They are concentrating, like I am, on the cold season that is coming all too soon.

Fall is a great time to plant perennials and get them established before snow to bring beauty to the landscape the following year.  I have mail-ordered some hydrangeas and other things – I can’t even remember what – that should be showing up on my doorstep any day now.  Or maybe it’s October that they ship?  The problem with mail-order is that I tend to forget.  I have too many other things to worry about and when the arrive I will worry about planting them.  I have the bonemeal, a shovel, work gloves and spots selected in the yard, so I am ready.  I think.  As long as they arrive in decent weather.

In the mean time, I will be waiting for my wood delivery to arrive and after the new wood stove is broken in (I have to do a couple of low temperature burns) I’ll be getting my wood organized before it’s covered with snow.  Then it will be time to rake the abundance of leaves that will surely cover my yard.

I enjoy Fall tremendously, but it’s a busy time.  For me, it’s the whirlwind before the calm.  Once the snow falls, it seems that things calm down and people stay inside as much as possible unless they ski or drive a snow plow.  Winter brings it’s own chores that are not nearly as enjoyable and there will be no planting going on then.

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