I thoroughly enjoyed reading my review copy over the past two weeks. And, after becoming blah about Hydrangeas over the years, I'm fired up again because of Ballato's enthusiasm for these garden mainstays.
|Lacecap HydrangeaMicrophylla 'Kardinal'|
"Success with Hydrangeas" is a 190 page, 7 by 10-inch, paperback that is loaded with useful, practical information. There are plenty of illustrations but it's a lot more than a picture book.
|H. paniculata 'Quickfire'|
Their unique needs in pruning, water, fertilizer and problem solving such as winter kill are all addressed in a way that builds confidence for beginning gardeners.
You can identify which plants will suit your garden. H. Petiolaris, Japanese climbing, doesn't do as well in very hot climates and enjoys part to full shade in all gardens.
H. arborescens, smooth woodland hydrangea "old reliable", is native to the Eastern US and includes everyone's favorite 'Annabelle' which spreads by suckers.
|H. quercifolia Oakleaf|
Oakleaf, H. quercifolia is an understory variety for the edge of shade with dappled sun. (The book has convinced me I need a couple of these for a special place that has challenged my talents so far.)
|Hydrangea mixed container|
Part Four is where Ballato's landscape and garden writing experience really show through to illustrate how many ways and places Hydrangeas can be used in your home garden beds. I don't think I had ever considered Hydrangeas as likely contenders for container plant combinations before.
This is a book you'll buy and keep for reference throughout your gardening years. Of course, you'll end up loaning it and never getting it back but it's only $20 - $25 at online booksellers so you can easily replace it.
|Plant Addicts root hydrangea cuttings|