Unfortunately, they got way too much sun and were very sad, so I moved them to a location mostly shaded by our neighbor's garage...they also grew a lot from that first summer!
Alas, the one on the right was getting much more sun that the other one. Yes, the one on the right also had alot more blooms on it, but it looked like this during the day:
How unfair is this? It has more flowers but also wilts terribly. What do you want, hydrangea!?? Let's see wilt that a little closer...
Nooooooo!!!! I had to come up with a solution that didn't involve moving it again, so I temporarily made a little 'Hydrangea Hut' to shade the hottie on the right. It was made out of a cardboard plant tray and tall bamboo stakes. It was so silly looking!
Eventually, I graduated to a slightly less stupid-looking solution....
I'm hoping to put up a small arbor over both of the hydrangeas next summer to shade them. Until then, the basket works okay. My other hydrangea baby is the lovely Annabelle on the opposite side of the yard. She also gets wilted in the hot afternoon sun, but definitely tolerates it better. She is only one season old, and already an impressive size!
I also gave into the hype and purchased two 'Incrediball' Annabelles, but unfortunately, they don't have any flowers, and I'm also not seeing much new growth. Boo! These may be going back to the garden center next year if they don't impress me! Hopefully after I cut them down this fall, next year they will grow nice big blooms in the summer.
On the patio (north) side, I have two Hydrangea vines on trellises, they get up to 60 feet long and sport delicate lace-cap flowers in the spring and early summer. Unfortunately, they love to sneak onto the brick instead of the trellis! Wouldn't that be stupid to have an empty trellis and all the vine on the garage? Yeah, that would totally happen to me. I gave to guide the growth with twistie ties so that doesn't happen.
Next to the vines, I have two other lesser-known hydrangeas.
This one is called 'Homigo', it is debated online whether or not it survives in our zone, but it is protected from wind and cold by the brick garage, so it is thriving here! I love the huge, strong-petaled blooms.
The other guy over here is called 'Preziosa' and it is truly special. Again, it's only supposed to be hardy to zone 6, but with winter protection it can also do well in zone 5.
It has unique color-changing qualities. The smaller blooms emerge white, then change to pink, finally changing to reddish-purple at the end of the growing season. The leaves emerge purple-tinted, mature to green, and again acquire red to purple tints in fall. The stems are dark red - gorgeous! Right now, we are at the mid-point with deep purple-green foliage and delicate light pink flowers, but the reddish color is slowly tinging the petals....What I love about these shrubs is that when they are in a good spot, they are mostly carefree plants. Too much hot sun, and they will wilt - but if they get morning sun and not much else, they will be totally happy with a daily sprinkle. I don't use fertilizers, because some hydrangeas are sensitive to them. Fertilizers also tend to encourage foliage to grow, while discouraging blooms. I use Aluminum Sulfate on the endless summers to change them to blue, but the rest of them are eu natural and don't get any chemical help from me.
As far as cutting down, I don't cut the endless summer until spring. Annabelles always bloom on new wood, so you can cut them down to the ground whenever you want before growth starts. I will definitely be cutting mine down hard, under a foot from the ground to encourage stronger stems. For the Homigo and Preziosa, I leave the old wood over the winter for added protection, and also put up burlap around them on stakes to shield the wind. Worked like a charm! The old wood can be cut before growth starts, as they both bloom on new wood....this is not what the internet said, by the way!
Is anyone else as obsessed as I am??