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Most recent photos of both the purple and cream. The third photo is a younger purple blossom - vanilla with pink edges.

Update: The Hydrangeas have flourished this summer. The six I transplanted down to the shady area grew beautiful healthy green leaves, and all but two have blossomed. The deep purples and pinks look so beautiful next to the cream-colored ones. The purples are dwarfed by the creams because they had such a head start. Next summer the playing field may be more even - with both starting and sprouting up at the same time.

The Hydrangeas bring me deep joy. I found myself looking forward to checking on them every day this summer - more than any other plant. They have such a charm, a Fourth of July, endless summer, watermelon, sprinkler-playing, quiet, old soul charm.

Here are the six:

Photo of all of them:

They are definitely doing well and recovering! I think that was it - they were in too much full sun. Now they are in dappled shade and growing lots and lots of new green leaves.

Their new companions, the cream-colored hydrangeas, are also growing every day and showing tiny bloom clusters.

They looked happier yesterday, although it's only been 24 hours. Rained a lot last night and today and they are a little soaked, but I am crossing fingers that the browning and crackling has stopped.

Update on the hydrangeas. They were doing terribly in the location we planted them. Leaves turning brown and crackling off, flowers turning brown and shriveling. I researched to the point of frustration, and came to the tentative conclusion that they had too much direct sun on them. I can't be sure though. They are on the north side of the house, but strangely the sun beats down brightly on that spot all day. The sun is far enough north right now that the house is not creating shade there.

Today I moved them. Down to where the cream colored ones are under the retention wall. I'm watering them twice today. Will post pictures of progress in the next few days.

We planted the hydrangeas that were kept in pots in the basement in the front bed. We did a lot of sizing up/eyeing the heights and angles of the plants in the bed (from the street, the driveway, etc.) to determine which set of prairie grasses we might want to remove to make way for the hydrangeas. Right now the front bed is full of prairie grasses and we're going for a more cultivated, cottage flower look. We looked at pictures we took of this area last summer to ensure we were pulling the right grasses and I'm sure we got it right. We pulled the grasses (only a few inches tall right now), added some miracle grow to the soil, dug holes, and transplanted the pots. They seemed well at first, but then leaves and flowers began to turn brown. I researched this and concluded it could be due to two possible reasons:
1. Too much sun (I think the area is deceiving, as it is directly north of the house, and one would think has lots of shade - lots of shade plants there already - BUT in the spring all the trees/grasses have not fully grown their leaves, and there IS lots of sun there right now.
2. Water shock from being watered lots suddenly after being in the pots.

I've been nursing them every day, covering them if it seems too sunny, watering, pruning, and I think they will survive. Each of the six plants except for one is showing new bright green growth with no browning.

Clearing the area:

Initial planting/watering:

The browning:

New growth:


Cream Colored Annabelles - about 8 plants - border the wooden retention wall that is under the driveway. They were in full bloom when we moved in last August. I've taken care to prune them this spring, so they should do well. They are beginning to sprout now.

I've purchased more! They are gorgeous shades of purples and pinks. I understand I'm going to need to test the ph of the soil and add or try to remove aluminum to ensure they keep good color. This is a good site on the subject, as well as The United States National Arboretum site. They are in pots in the basement now, we turn on the lights to simulate day and turn them off at night. We hope to plant them this weekend.

Ideally, I'd like them to be in the front bed and take out some of the overpowering prairie grass that is there now. Looking for a more english cottage feeling.


  1. OH! I have been looking for a place to leave a comment and here it is!
    Your hydrangeas are lovely, do you know which variety they are? I am going to experiment with my Endless Summers on propagating, it should be exciting to see if I can get more, the cheap way!
    I love the morning glory blue, truly stunning!

  2. Sissy, the cream-colored hydrangeas were here when we moved into the house a year ago. I am 90% sure they are Annabelles. The purple ones were purchased at Home Depot! They are Hydrangea Macrophyllia. I thought about doing some propagating in the spring, and found that the best way to propagate Hydrangeas is via softwood cuttings. Here's a good site on it:

    The blue is stunning isn't it! The photos somehow came out so beautifully in the morning sun. Thank you.


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