Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hydrangeas in Longmont

Did you see the Johnny St. Vrain column in the Times-Call last week where a reader was having trouble getting hydrangeas to bloom, and wondered how the city grows them so well in the downtown breezeways? The reader also wondered which hydrangea variety was planted by the city.

Here's a shot of the downtown breezeway hydrangeas:

The city downtown landscaper Bill Paul wasn't sure but thinks this could be the Anabelle variety (there are 1200 varieties).

Hydrangeas grow from Florida to Newfoundland, so what does it take to grow them in Longmont? Paul says:
  • Good morning sun
  • Protection from afternoon sun
  • Rich loam soil, neutral in acidity
  • Well-drained soil
  • They don't like wet conditions
  • Some protection from harsh cold temperatures
I regularly pass by some blooming hydrangeas so let's see how these stack up to the formula above.

In the Prospect neighborhood, these are on the east side of a house and this picture was taken in the middle of the afternoon. So they definitely get the morning sun and are in the shade during the afternoon. They are close to the house and next to a sidewalk which provides some winter protection.

And still in Prospect, another block away, these are on a east-west sidewalk and get a little more afternoon sun, but are still thriving:

Finally, these hydrangeas in Southmoor Park stray away from the formula a bit as they are in direct mid-afternoon sun but there is a bank of tall trees to the right (west) which will provide some shade in a few more hours. And, they likely get some winter warmth from the surrounding rocks:

I'll be on the lookout for colored hydrangeas (blue and pink) in Longmont.

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