Aconite and hydrangea - the perfect match for a shady flower garden
One day while traveling in the mountains and foothills of Karachay-Cherkessia, I discovered that aconite is found in large quantities in the forests of this area. The contemplation of this plant in nature inspired me to think about my shadow flower garden, which was just in the process of being created. At that time, hydrangeas and ferns mainly grew in it. Having returned from a trip, I realized my plan and realized that hydrangea and aconite are indeed the perfect match for a shady flower garden. Why - I will tell in this article.
Varieties of hydrangea tree-like for a shady flower garden
In partial shaded flower beds it is best to plant tree hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) Other popular species of this shrub, for example, large-leaved hydrangea, nevertheless prefer a larger sun, and panicle hydrangea with a lack of light will not bloom at all.
In Soviet times, there was a period of tremendous popularity of hydrangea tree-like, because gardeners could not help but appreciate the beauty of the snow-white caps of a bush, so similar to viburnum Buldenezh. But, unlike viburnum, hydrangea is practically not susceptible to aphid attack. And this is a huge plus in her favor.
Today, due to the wide distribution, hydrangea tree-like seems to many ordinary and simple. But still for a shady flower garden it is a real find, especially if you select the right partners for the bush. However, there are other, possibly more interesting varieties of it:
Hydrangea Bounty. A more compact copy of the Anabel hydrangea. Her bush is less prone to decay and lower growth. If the old variety can reach a height of about 2 meters, then the Bounty does not exceed one meter and is more suitable for small flower gardens. Otherwise, both cultivars are identical and have pure white inflorescences that turn green over time.
Hydrangea "Wasterival". During the breeding period of the first varieties of hydrangea, breeders sought to make all the flowers in the inflorescence sterile (sterile), since they are much larger and look more spectacular. But subsequently, breeding work began to be conducted in the opposite direction. Now, with the growing popularity of natural gardens, a request has also appeared for hydrangea forms close to natural - with the presence of sterile and fertile (giving seeds) flowers. And although such inflorescences do not look so lush, but the Wasterival hydrangea has an aroma lost in sterile varieties and the ability to attract pollinating insects.
Hydrangea Lime Ricky. A unique and still little-known variety of tree hydrangea. The main decorative value lies in the bizarre shape of the flower. The spherical inflorescence consists mainly of sterile lime-colored flowers, and in the center of each of them there is a "bead" of bright pink color. Presented in a small amount, fertile flowers are also pink. An additional bonus of the variety is resistance to lodging.
Hydrangea "Incrediball". Another name for the variety Strong Anabel (Strong Anabel) fully reflects the main advantage of the plant. Unlike the old variety, it has incredibly strong shoots that always maintain an upright position and do not lean under the weight of hats, even with strong winds or prolonged rains. And the inflorescences of this variety are truly huge - up to 30 centimeters in diameter. The color, like that of Anabel hydrangea, is first green, then pure white, but turns green again over time. The height of the bushes is 1.5 meters.
To date, there are four varieties of pink-flowered tree-shaped hydrangeas: Anabel Pink, Sweet Anabel, Ruby Anabel, Medical Pinkerbel. But still, when combined with aconite, varieties with white and greenish flowers are preferred.
Varieties of aconite
Most commonly found in gardens aconite napellus (Aconitum napellus) The flowering time of such aconite is June, and the duration is 1-1.5 months. The color of the flowers can be blue-violet, two-tone blue-white and pure white.
Very similar to aconite napellus aconite bicolor (Aconitum cammarum bicolor) also blooms in June-July and it has not too stable thin stems, prone to lodging. The main difference is the two-tone color of large two-lipped flowers. The main tone of the petals of this aconite is white, and on the edges there is a thin dark purple border.
Aconite Karmichel (Aconitum carmichaelii) grows wild in the Far East and in China. It has a magnificent appearance and its stems can reach two meters in height and do not require support. Another indisputable advantage is large flowers. The color of the flowers is mostly blue or dark blue. Carmechil aconite blooms later than other species, in September or even in October.
Occasionally, original pink-flowered varieties of aconite can be found on sale. But, in fairness, it is worth noting that their flowers are still not bright pink, but light purple with a pinkish tinge. The most popular varieties of aconite with pink flowers: aconite Karmichel "Pink Sensation" and aconite napellus "Rubellum".
Separately, I would like to note the curly form of aconite. This is a rather rare plant, but still, if desired, it can also be found on sale. In aconite curly flowers also have a characteristic helmet shape and a blue-violet color, flowers are collected in brushes up to 20 centimeters long. Flexible crimped stems can climb to a two-meter height. Leaves carved palmate-dissected.
Curly aconite can be placed on a trellis or fence behind the hydrangea bushes, or on obelisks located between the bushes. Flowering aconite curly begins in mid-July and lasts for 2 months.
Why is aconite and hydrangea a perfect match?
With all its external attractiveness, many types of aconite and, above all, capybum have one significant drawback - weak arcuate-drooping stems. They need a garter so that fairly tall bushes maintain an upright position and even stems. Otherwise, their stems begin to slope to the ground and bend.
But in natural-type flower gardens, tied plants look unnatural. And here the combination with hydrangea is very successful, because its lignified bushes can serve as aconite natural support. To do this, it is necessary to plant aconite not before hydrangea, but to push it a little under the bush, helping the stems to get to the light between the branches of the shrub.
Flowering time of aconite napellus and hydrangea arborealum approximately coincides. And when aconite blooms, young hats of greenish color just appear on hydrangea. A very harmonious combination of violet and lime colors with each other is created. The size of the flowers also allows you to create a successful duet, since a single aconite flower is twice as large as a single hydrangea flower. At the same time, aconite inflorescences are much smaller than hydrangea caps, which gives a remarkable contrast.
When hydrangea inflorescences turn white, aconite still continues to bloom. To extend such a successful combination until late autumn, other types of aconite can be added to the flower garden, in particular, Carmehil aconite, which blooms until October. By the way, this type of aconite can be planted in front of hydrangea bushes or between them, because this species has a more durable and resistant stem that does not need support.
Aconite and hydrangea are ideal for growth conditions. Both plants tolerate partial shade and need regular watering. Both hydrangea and aconite prefer loamy water-intensive soils of a slightly acid reaction. At the same time, despite the water loving nature, the soil for them must be well-drained, because their root system easily rotts with an excess of moisture. Joint plantations of aconite react very well if they are mulched with peat.
What other plants can be combined with aconite and hydrangea?
From the point of view of landscape design, greenish-white and blue color are perfectly combined with each other. To enhance this harmony, plants with a golden color of leaves or flowers can be added to the white-purple flower garden. For example, put in the background the prince “Stolvik Gold” with yellow foliage (on a support).
Various buzulniks blooming with bright yellow flowers will also fit perfectly into a similar flower garden. A host will also be sure to decorate a similar flower garden with its leaves, and absolutely any variety is well suited - with green, and blue, and with golden, and with white-patterned leaves.
In this case, the queen of the shadow flower garden should be added with caution, since pink color can violate the absolute harmony of the blue-white-golden flower garden, and many varieties of this perennial have pink tones of inflorescences.
But if the panicles of astilbe are white or violet-purple, then they can be added without worrying at all. Other successful companions of aconite and hydrangea are: Rogersia, meadowsweet, ferns, incense, cloves, volzanka, geyhera, geraniums, black cohosh.