HYDRANGEAS by Christine Burkett

America has a love affair with hydrangeas. And why not? A lovely perennial, with fantastic, large flowerheads in colors of blue, pink, and purple, hydrangeas showcase an old-fashioned beauty that begs to be seen and admired. In fact, hydrangeas are the most googled shrub in the world, and they bring to mind the romance of a Nantucket summer with blue or pink blooms highlighted by a white picket fence.

Hydrangeas are easy to cultivate, not fussy about soil requirements, and produce large amounts of flowers that last well into fall. As an added bonus, most have foliage that gives great autumn color as well. With several species available for the garden, hydrangeas come in numerous sizes and shapes that are perfect for a wide range of locations and uses. From containers to privacy screens to spreading ground covers, there’s a hydrangea to fill every site.

A fun fact about hydrangeas is that you can change the color of their flowers just by changing the amount of acid in your soil. Soil with a pH of 5.5 or lower will result in blue hydrangeas, a pH of 6.5 or higher will produce pink hydrangeas, and a soil pH between 5.5 and 6.5 will have purple hydrangeas. If you want to lower you soil’s pH, you can add garden sulphur or mix one cup of white vinegar with one gallon of water in a watering can and simply use this to water your hydrangeas. Summer beauty has never been easier!

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