Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hydrangea petiolaris and the changing garden.....

There is nothing more constant in gardening than change. Either the rodents eat the perennials, some new insect or disease destroy things or extremes of weather take beloved plantings away. Two notable weather related garden destroyers from last year were Hurricane Irene in August and the late October snow storm'easter (not so fondly remembered as "Snowtober") that devastated so many trees here in the Northeast. 

We have a beautiful old Red Oak tree here in the gardens where I planted a Hydrangea petiolaris seventeen years ago and it has matured into the best specimen plant on our property. I was devastated last October when the early, heavy snowfall and the still leafed out oak combined to break most of the uppermost limbs off the tree.  The damage was heartbreaking and it seemed at the time that we would lose the tree and therefore the beautiful hydrangea growing on it. 

It took a couple weekends and many trips to the landfill to clear away the broken branches but there were still quite a few large limbs hanging up in the canopy that were a danger to the gardens and anyone walking under the tree.  The good news is that we were able to find an arborist to remove the six or so broken limbs and prune back the damaged ends.  A very tricky proposition because most of the "hangers" were seventy feet up in the canopy of the tree.

Anyway, he pronounced the tree in good health and it now appears that the tree is going to make it and I won't be losing my hydrangea.  Wonderful, especially as this spring it's put on the best show of blossoms in its seventeen years here.  The unexpected pruning by nature and Sayco Tree Service has given the garden at the foot of the tree and the hydrangea the added benefit of a bit more sunlight. 

So I'm very pleased to know that we'll be enjoying this lovely vine for years to come... well crossing my fingers that we don't get any other extreme weather anytime soon to threaten the old oak tree...


  1. Oh-oh-what have I started? lol Looking forward to the furure installments!

  2. I look forward to seeing your lovely photos. Will you consider setting up an RSS feed so readers are notified by email when you add a post?

  3. Look what Sue started! How super.

    I am the recent owner of a Hydrangea petiolaris. It will never reach the size of yours in my lifetime, but yours is my role model.

    I must add that I don't like the look of the heavy machinery trimming your oak. We will soon be having similar heavy traffic across our lawns in order to remove an aged propane tank and replace it with a new one. I dread the repair work involved and pray that my nearby Katsura Red Fox survives the event.

  4. Congrats! Lovely! I've been toying with the idea of blogging about gardening in the wilderness here, but it would read too much like a war tale. It's always a battle!