Hydrangea Week–Nikko Blue

If this plant weren’t so finicky in my climate, it would be my all-time favorite hydrangea–hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue.’  There is no describing the color of the blooms–but anyone who has spent any time on Cape Cod in the summer knows the color.  It is much deeper and richer than any of the other blue hydrangeas–it’s almost periwinkle in some of the flowers.  Here’s a close-up (and you know cameras don’t capture blues well and I am no expert!)

That richness just isn’t there in my lacecaps, or my beloved Endless Summer™ or any of the other blues on my property.

But as anyone who has tried to grow most macrophylla hydrangeas in central Connecticut knows, some years they bloom, and some years they don’t–and it’s not your fault!  It’s that finicky weather where there’s not enough snow to properly insulate the canes (which are not all that hardy in our zone) and protect the buds from the cold and the desiccating winds.

Obviously with all the snow last winter, this was not a problem.  But one scarcely wants to suffer through 8′ of snow just to have one’s favorite hydrangea bloom!

When this shrub was smaller, I would wrap the whole thing in burlap and fill it up with leaves.  But it’s getting way too large for that now–and I’m getting way beyond the point where I want to coddle my plants that way.

So some years I’ll just get a bloom or two around the bottom or in the center where leaves have collected to protect those tender buds.  And in snowier years, I’ll have a lovely bush in bloom like this.

And for those other years, there’s always Endless Summer.™

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