Written by Tolly Beck
Tolly Beck is the horticulturist at Lasdon Park and Arboretum in Westchester County. She was formerly a horticulture educator for New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland, NY.
What’s In Bloom
Japanese stewartia Stewartia pseudocamellia
southern magnolia Magnolia grandiflora
Hydrangea spp. and cvs.
Spiraea spp. and cvs.
Viburnum spp. and cvs.
adam’s needle Yucca filamentosa
black cohosh Actaea racemosa
bloody cranesbill Geranium sanguineum
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ (perennial vine)
coral bells Heuchera spp. and cvs.
daylily Hemerocallis spp. and cvs.
false goat’s beard Astilbe spp.
leopard plant Ligularia ‘The Rocket’
milkweed Asclepias spp.
plantain lily Hosta spp. and cvs.
purple coneflower Echinacea purpurea
shasta daisy Leucanthemum superbum
summer phlox Phlox paniculata
sunflower heliopsis Heliopsis helianthoides
yellow corydalis Corydalis lutea
In the Spotlight
Hydrangeas, a beautiful group of flowering shrubs, are beginning to brighten our gardens with their colorful blooms. Lasdon’s Memorial Garden has four species of hydrangeas that are often found in home gardens and landscapes. The most popular hydrangea species is the bigleaf, mophead, or florist hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla). These are the hydrangeas with the large round balls of primarily blue and pink flowers. They grow best in sun to part shade. Most of the bigleaf hydrangeas begin to flower in early summer. Some cultivars like ‘Endless Summer’ continue to produce flowers throughout the summer.
The panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) are another landscape favorite, producing 6-8” long panicles of creamy white blooms in midsummer. As the flowers mature, many will often turn various shades of pink. Panicle hydrangeas require several hours of sun.
Oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) are one of two native species. They produce large panicles of creamy white flowers that do not droop, but grow upright in more of a cone shape. The common name of this native species comes from the fact that their leaves resemble the shape of oak leaves, having a very different appearance from the usual hydrangea foliage. A bonus is that the oak leaf shaped leaves turn a beautiful burgundy, orange red in the fall. The oakleaf hydrangeas usually bloom in late spring through early summer. They like full sun in the morning and some light shade in the afternoon.
Another native is the smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens). The very large rounded white blooms, sometimes 10” in diameter, appear in June throughout the summer. This native is known to bloom reliably even after very cold winters as it blooms on new wood. The smooth hydrangea can be grown in sun to part shade.
Whether you come to Lasdon to walk, shop, picnic, or attend an event, be sure to stop by the Memorial Garden to see the beautiful hydrangeas in bloom. The Memorial Garden is the first garden you see in front of you as you come through the green entrance gates just off the upper level of the parking lot. Make a right at the top of the steps and follow the path to the hydrangeas. You may just find a favorite that you would like to include in your own garden.