Summer Hydrangea Festivals And A Burpee Giveaway


Hydrangeas are arguably one of the most celebrated shrubs in the garden. Rivaled only by roses, they are the kind of plant avid gardeners daydream about; form clubs to discuss, attend garden tours to critique and even admire at summer festivals.burpee colorfusion blooming containers

But it’s not just serious gardeners that are going wild for hydrangeas these days. Thanks to breakthroughs in plant breeding, small-space, long-blooming and disease-resistant varieties have even weekend dirt dabblers smitten. With so much interest in one of the nation’s most historic and beloved blooming shrubs at an all time high, don’t be surprised to stumble upon a hydrangea festival in your neighborhood this summer.

W. Atlee Burpee & Co., one of America’s best-known home garden companies, is planning a hydrangea celebration of its own on Friday, July 10th and Saturday, July 11th from 10 am to 4 pm at its historic Fordhook Farm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Called the Mid-Summer Garden Party, the two-day event will showcase a wide range of hydrangea varieties. Visitors to the farm will not only have access to Fordhook’s 8 specialty gardens, they’ll also have a chance to participate in a plant sale, guided garden tours and a lecture given by world-renown hydrangea expert Dr. Michael Dirr, best known for breeding the Endless Summer hydrangea. For event details, visit

But before you make your way out to the nearest hydrangea festival this summer, here are a few basic hydrangea types to keep an eye out for during your travels:

Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) ? Most people think of hydrangeas as shrubs for shade, but if you’ve got a sunny garden and are longing to grow hydrangeas, consider planting a smooth hydrangea variety. These decadent beauties are hardy in Zones 3 to 8, and are native to eastern North America. Because these wide, mounding plants adapt to full sun or partial shade , there are an exceptional choice for sunny garden spots. Smooth hydrangeas typically grow 3 to 5 feet high and wide.

Bigleaf hydrangea (H.macrophylla) ? Perhaps best-known among its counterparts, the Bigleaf hydrangea or (H. macrophylla) is hardy in zones 6 to 9. This popular shrub is native to Japan, and typically grows about 4 feet high and wide. It produces large blue or pink flower clusters in early summer. Lacecap varieties are also classified as Bigleaf hydrangea, and produce smaller flower clusters in which a ring of blossoms encircles a flattened center. Endless Summer,? a popular mophead variety is one example of a Bigleaf hydrangea.

Peegee hydrangea (H. paniculata) ? Peegee hydrangea are the largest of the free-standing types, growing 15 to 20 feet high and 10 to 15 feet wide. Native to both China and Japan, Peegee hydrangea are hardy in zones 3-8 and produce elongated white flower panicles appear in late summer. Over time Peegee hydrangeas can be trained to resemble trees.

Oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia) ? Hardy in zones 5-9, Oakleaf hydrangea are native to the southeastern United States. This type of hydrangea can grow 4 to 6 feet high and wide. Part of its charm, the Oakleaf features large, lobed leaves that turn rich burgundy red in the fall. Its elongated cream flower panicles burst into bloom in early summer and persist through fall in most parts of the country.

Climbing hydrangea (H. anomala petiolaris) ? Originating in China and Japan, Climbing hydrangea can reach up to 60 feet, using its stems to cling to walls or other supports. This hydrangea is hardy in zones 4-8, and is often appreciated for its airy white flower clusters that appear in early summer.

Mark your calendar. There are enough hydrangea festivals this summer to keep you busy until fall. Here’s a few worth attending:


Hydrangea Fest

For details, visit

BC Canada

Hydrangea Blossom Festival

For details,


2009 American Hydrangea Society Annual Garden Tour

For details, visit


Mid Summer Garden Party

For details, visit

South Carolina

Rosebank Farms

For details, call 768-0508 or go to


Mid-South Hydrangea Society 5th Annual Garden Tour

For details,


Four winners of this giveaway will each receive a Burpee Colorfusion Blooming Container (pictured above).


To enter leave me a comment telling me if you’ve ever planted hydrangea and what you thought of it AND which of the four containers you’d like to win.


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Leave an additional comment for each entry you qualify for. You must have completed the first entry according to the instructions to be eligible for any bonus entries.


US addresses only please. This contest will end on Sunday 07/05/09 at 11:59 pm est.? If you?ve entered any of my giveaways before then you know that only comments containing all of the requested information will be eligible for entry. The winner must contact me to confirm they wish to receive the prize within two days of my email notifying them they?ve won.? Good luck to everyone!


55 thoughts on “Summer Hydrangea Festivals And A Burpee Giveaway

  1. I just clipped some blossoms from my grandparents’ hydrangea and hope to try to root my own from their original. If I won, I’d pick the Bigleaf Hydrangea — I love that purple-blue hue of its blossoms!
    musesofmegret (at) gmail (dot) com

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