Garden Photo of the Day

Summer of Daylilies and Hydrangeas

Midsummer glory in Pennsylvania

Today we’re taking a return trip to Carla’s garden in Malvern, Pennsylvania. She’s shared her garden with us before (Midspring in Carla’s Garden and Carla’s Woodland Garden), and today we’re enjoying the garden as it enters midsummer, when, as Carla puts it, “suddenly it is all daylilies and hydrangeas!”

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Howack’Carla confessed to me that like so many of us, she’s not good about remembering plant names, so she doesn’t know the variety of all the plants pictured here today. This hydrangea, however, with these unusual green-and-pink flowers, is the variety ‘Pistachio’ (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Howack’, Zones 6–9).

Pink and blue big leaf hydrangeasPink and blue bigleaf hydrangeas growing together. Flower color in hydrangeas is determined by a combination of the soil and the genetics of the individual plant. Acidic soils tend to produce bluer flowers, while alkaline ones produce pinker flowers. But each plant tends to a particular color as well, so you can have pink and blue flowers in the garden with the right variety choices.

Hemerocallis hybridAn exquisite daylily (Hemerocallis hybrid, Zones 4–9), with blooms that are an unusual combination of lavender and peach.

lace cap hydrangeaHydrangeas can be of a mophead form, with big masses of flowers, or of the more delicate lacecap form (pictured), with a ring of showy flowers around a disk of smaller ones. Both are beautiful!

picotee pattern hydrangeaThe picotee pattern on this hydrangea stands out all the better for being displayed in the simple, lacecap form.

lavender lacecap hydrangeaA lavender lacecap hydrangea blooms beautifully with a rich, red daylily.

Soft pink dayliliesSoft pink daylilies bloom up through a smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens, Zones 3–8).

fuschiaIt isn’t just hydrangeas and dayliles. In a shady spot, a graceful fuchsia (annual) in a container mingles with ferns in the shade gardens.

foxgloveA marvelous form of foxglove (Digitalis purpurea, Zones 4–9) with a dramatic, dark pattern on the flower throat.


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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/24/2020

    You take stunning pictures of beautiful subjects, Carla. I envy your success with the hydrangea variety 'Pistachio'. I eagerly bought one a few years ago and it didn't take it long for it to wave the white flag of surrender and die off when faced with my southeast summer heat and humidity. Your photo reminded me of why I was so hoping it would thrive. The blooms have such interesting coloration. Your lavender and peach daylily is an exceptional beauty.

  2. btucker9675 07/24/2020

    Oh my - so much beauty to take in! That foxglove is spectacular. My day lilies here in the Charlotte area are all finished except for Stella d'Ora. My hydrangeas, although planted where they are protected from the worst of the afternoon sun, are still blooming but showing signs of fatigue. It's just been so terribly hot for the past 2 weeks. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous gardens.

  3. cheryl_c 07/24/2020

    Your flower portraits are lovely. I was especially taken with the peach and violet day lily and the foxglove. Thanks for sharing!

  4. User avater
    cynthia2020 07/24/2020

    Carla - I enjoyed looking at your plant portraits. Thanks!

  5. User avater
    simplesue 07/24/2020

    Oh so true- the way you described midsummer, as “suddenly it is all daylilies and hydrangeas!”.
    Sure wish I knew what that apricot and lavender daylily was called...just when I told myself I had enough daylilies you had to go and tempt me with your fabulous photo!

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