New Planting... 'Bombshell'; and thinking about 'Merritt Supreme'
I am SO excited... I just picked up a 'Bombshell' hydrangea today and got it all settled in with a nice feeding, plenty of mulch (4-5" deep), part sun going to light-medium shade and all the good stuff for happy hydrangeas.
I have grown hydrangeas in the past with excellent success ('Forever Pink'; 'Alpengluhen'; and an unknown variety of Oakleaf that I inherited from someone else-- plus whatever kinds of Mops that my mom had when we lived in Illinois). I'm returning to growing hydrangeas again after my heart got broken when the gas company came along and dug up my 'FP' and 'Alpens' that were in full beautiful bloom when they relaid the gas lines all throughout the neighborhood. They assured me that my babies would be just fine and that they would not need to dig them up, but I came home from work and there they were, uprooted and lying limp and bare-rooted in the sun out in my front yard! I has panic stricken and in tears. Try as I might, I wasn't able to bring them back and they died. :'-( After that, I wasn't able to bring myself to plant hydrangeas again, and those bums wouldn't even be bothered to reimburse me for the loss.
I have mostly done the Mops (H. macrophylla), so this is my first paniculata variety. This one is in the front of my house, and of course very visible, so I want to do the best for it. Is there anything out of the ordinary that I need to do for paniculatas/Bombshell that's different from the other types that I've done in the past? And for anyone that's grown 'Bombshell'-- we all know what things say on the tags, but what happens in real life isn't always what it says on a plant tag. What has been your experience with these, re. actual plant height at full size, blooming habits, etc. I chose this one because it claims to be small (2-3') and produces white flowers, perfect to go w/ my Pittosporum and Hostas. If the flowers 'antique' or change to another shade as they age, that's cool and part of the fun of these lovely plants.
I'm also thinking about putting 'Merritt's Supreme' in the spot where the 'FP' and 'Alpengluhen' were. From photos I've seen, they age so beautifully. They would, of course, be pink in our soil here, and if the super-vivid shocking pink that I got from my 'FP' and near-red from the 'Alpengluhen' is an indication of anything, how would the 'Merritt's' compare to those? Could they be kept small and grown in amended, acidified soil in order to coax the vivid blue-purple that I've seen in some photos? (I'm familiar with the process, as we used to do it all the time in IL-- great science and horticulture lesson for a young kid!) And of course, how do they look when they go antique?
Thanks, folks! Happy hydrangeas to everyone!