Monday, June 6, 2011

Oakleaf hydrangeas


 
The bees are going absolutely mad over the Oakleaf Hydrangeas now. Everytime we walk by the hydrangeas clouds of bees come billowing up ~ bees of every sort although mostly Sweat Bees (Halictus rubicundus). The front of the house smells like a florist's shop. I can't remember if there was this much bee activity around the hydrangeas in past years, but there certainly is this year! Still not enough to disturb the lazy orange cat. :)
 

 

Sweat bee ~ these bees are fast as lightening.
 

A psychadelic fly basking in the beauty
 

Carpenter Bee
 

The bees are after the flowers beneath the sterile florets.
 

While many of the flowers on the 'Pee Wee' hydrangeas on the north side of the house are still a dazzling ivory
 

some are splashed with pink and the flowers of the 'Dayspring' hydrangea on the east side of the house have turned rose pink the last couple of days. Since the one on the east side gets more sun it always flowers. Masha asked if the hydrangeas turn color here and they do. I love the fall color; like many of the blueberry bushes, it starts out a deep burgundy which eventually lightens to crimson. The color of the hydrangeas on the north side is not as consistent. Some years they freeze before they can change color because they change so late.
 

 

 

'Pee Wee' is supposed to top out at 4' but after just four years it's nearly there already; however, it'd have to get to double that size before it was up over the porch railing and starting to be too big. 'Dayspring' will probably easily get to 8' one day.



25 comments:

  1. Love those...especially as the blooms fade...so charming!

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  2. They look in good nick. You must have had the right balance of rain, sun and temperature this season so far.

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  3. I always loved the flowers, but had dismissed hydrangeas as too big and rangy, but the more I see, the more I like the whole form. The oakleaf is big, but in the right setting, as you have it, it is a great plant.

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  4. Hydrangeas are so beautiful...even when they are dry. Love too see yours.They are perfect...like a lace.

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  5. Those are wonderful and what a joy they must be to enjoy every day they are in bloom.

    FlowerLady

    P.S. Thanks again for your help with my blog template.

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  6. Beautiful pictures! Love those hydrangeas!

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  7. Sweetbay, I love oakleaf hydrangea. They are so delightful and smell delicious. I have also noticed that the smaller bees are loving them this year. Love the bee shots and the speckled petals~gail

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  8. The hydrangeas are beautiful this year. I haven't noticed any bees on mine but the blooms are certainly lovely.

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  9. I bought 5 Pee Wees last year and they are doing well so far...wish they were in a little more sun, but I like where they are. Good to know that yours are getting to be a good size. I can handle bigger, but Pee Wees were available. Great photos, you always have such a good eye with your photos.

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  10. oooh I will have to look out for oak leaf hydrangea to plant.
    Your garden is such an inspiration to me.

    Love Leanne

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  11. I swoon for hydrangeas. Your oakleaf are gorgeous. Sadly, the oakleaf is not hardy here or I would be off shopping for it. :)

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  12. I love your insect photos. They are really enjoying the blooms.
    Your kitty looks like he would like to jump out there and swat some of those insects.

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  13. Very beautiful and great shots of the bees and kitty.

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  14. oh my. I have serious hydrangea envy. I have an "endless summer" hydrangea in a container (1st time trying that) and an Oakleaf hydrangea that is barely hanging on. Nothing like the lavish display going on in your garden. It's good to have a dream tho ~ I think I'll keep dreaming...
    I did not realize bees were even interested in hydrangeas (but then I was lucky to get five blooms from the oakleaf)! Good to know they aren't just beautiful to look at.
    Do you cut the dried heads for winter arrangements?? That was originally my intent for planting the Oakleaf but I quickly realized the foliage attributes & good thing since I don't get enough to harvest...

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  15. Thanks for your comments everyone!

    Kathleen I have not cut the dried heads for winter arrangements but I bet that would look great.

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  16. Gorgeous! Your photos, as always, are great, Sweetbay. The carpenter bee is amazing; I can't get a decent photo of anything other than a bumble--the others move too fast for me:) Love the photo of Kitty. She looks ready to pounce on something--let's hope it isn't your hydrangeas!

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  17. Beautiful! I love love love your oakleaf hydrangeas - when I grew them I only had two in different places of the yard, but the massing effect you created is wonderful. After looking at your pictures I think I need to find room for one in my garden.

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  18. What gorgeous hydrangea blooms. I love how they change after the blooms age. Gorgeous pictures!

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  19. I had no idea that Oakleafs attracted bees. I am so use to seeing no insect activity around other Hydrangeas.

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  20. Sweetbay,
    beautiful blooms! The bees are happy!

    kiss

    Carola

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  21. A lot of people bought oak leaf hydrangeas at Gardening Scotland. I was tempted but didn't. I think I missed a fine planting opportunity judging by your photos!

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  22. Lovely pictures. I have just bought my first Oak Leaf Hydrangea and I will be interested to see how it does. A bonus that the bees like it.

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  23. You have beautiful Hydrangeas! Are all of those Oakleaf Hydrangea cultivars? Even the basic oakleaf hydrangea is quite rare in Finland.

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  24. Thank you everyone for your comments! K, yes, all are cultivars ~ a 'Dayspring' by itself, and then 4 'Pee Wee' across the front of the house. Both are really nice ~ lots of blooms, good fall color ~ they just differ in size.

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  25. Thank you for visiting my blog. You have a beautiful garden. Love your Hydrangeas!

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