False hydrangea earns its name because it unfurls flowers that resemble lacecap hydrangea blooms. This variety is sold as Rose Sensation (Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Minsens’) because the large petals (actually known as tepals) offer a deep, rose pink. Flowers appear in June and July. False hydrangea vine is a good choice for a part sun to part shade location—it’s often used in a woodland garden setting or north-facing garden. It’s a vigorous vine that’s well suited for trailing across a pergola or blanketing an arch with color. Vines grow 40 to 50 feet high and 6 to 9 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9.
Also called landscape fabric or weed cloth, this type of mulch is usually woven polypropylene fabric. It suppresses weeds while allowing water and air to pass. It’s often used under inorganic mulches, such as stone or landscape glass, but also under shredded hardwood bark to help extend its lifespan. Landscape fabric comes in different grades; the label should state how long it will last. This is a commercial grade fabric that’s woven and needle punched with a 20-year warranty. The colored lines are 12 inches apart, which helps with spacing plants, especially in vegetable gardens.
Why we love it: Oakleaf hydrangea wins our hearts because of its multi-season interest. White flower clusters start opening in summer, quickly fade to pink hues, followed by brown sugar tones. Dried blooms linger into winter. Leaves turn stunning shades of purple, burgundy and red in fall.
Thirty miles off the Massachusetts coast, Nantucket lures tourists with its lighthouses, sand dunes and deep sea fishing. But as summer unfolds, the island’s gardens take center stage, stealing the spotlight with romantic blossoms. One of Nantucket’s famous bloomers—hydrangeas—glow with rich hues, thanks to the mild maritime climate. A cool, temperate summer coupled with enveloping fogs coaxes these shrubs to open larger-than-life blooms that look this good in mid-July. Acidic soil gives rise to the stunning blue shades.
Hydrangeas turn containers into flower fests where the show doesn’t end—even faded blooms look great. Tucking shrubs like hydrangeas into a pot lets you buy smaller, inexpensive plants that you grow to larger size through the growing season. It’s a great way to stretch your planting budget. The bonus with hydrangeas is that it’s much easier to shift flower color from pink to blue in a container, thanks to the small soil volume. The secret to gorgeous blue blooms is acid soil. Just add soil acidifier (find it with other fertilizers), garden sulfur or aluminum sulfate. Endless Summer hydrangea grows 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
If space is tight in your yard, you can still enjoy lush hydrangea blooms with this small shrub, which grows 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. Flower color shifts from a deep violet-purple in acid soils to pink in basic soils. Use this reblooming hydrangea in containers, as a specimen plant, to edge planting beds or as an informal hedge. Hardy in Zones 5-9. Botanical name: Hydrangea macrophylla