We're excited here in the Pacific Northwest, and that's because June marks the arrival of a very special crop -- Hydrangea! Because these versatile blooms are picky in their growing requirements, there aren't many places in the United States where they can flourish, which make them an extra special, seasonal must-have!
Here, on the Northern California coast, we've been growing this crop for several years and are well-acquainted with what it needs to flourish. With that in mind, we've had the freedom to play with our crops over the years -- trying different varieties, colors, sizes, and growing practices to achieve the absolute best hydrangea -- and from looking at this year's crop, I think we've found it!
|Opal Hoop House|
First, the varieties we're growing are producing some amazing colors. Walking through one of our hydrangea hoops is quite the kaleidoscopic journey. Opal, in particular, shows off several different shrubs of lavender, pink, and blue blooms (see photo above), while Amethyst, true to its name, looks like a semi-precious stone, dappled with green, blue, lavender, and pink on one single flower (photo at right). Not to mention the fantastical green and white variety, Noblesse, which features ruffled edges of each floret and complimentary blue-purple eyes (photo below).
Our new varieties are hybridized and bred specifically for the cut flower industry, which means not just pretty colors, but better performance all around. Past varieties only bloomed every two years, but these new hybrids give us a new supply of high-quality flowers every single year. This dependability and consistency
allows us to further perfect our growing practices year after year.
|Flower Production of new shrubs|
Not only that, these new hybrids are more resistant to diseases, which gives us a better product overall. In fact, many of our newer varieties are branded with the name "Everlasting," a testament to their longevity -- their stems, foliage, and flowers are stronger and more durable than ever with an enviable vase life. In addition, the flower heads come in a range of sizes
which provides options and flexibility for buyers and designers, alike.
While the variety of a hydrangea plays a large part in the end product,
make all the difference with regards to quality, and can make a good
. As mentioned above, we're lucky to have the perfect hydrangea climate here on our farm, but we add to the natural environment with a strict shade-cloth regimen and our fertigation technique (a computer-controlled, combined irrigation-fertilization technique). The shade cloth allows us further intensify the hydrangea colors while fertigation helps us control the exact amount of nutrients each plant receives in the most efficient way
possible, with minimal waste.
|Shade Cloth over Hydrangea|
As you can see, this year's fresh varieties are looking fantastic and we start picking the first stems this week! I'm really looking forward seeing the crop week after week -- as the season progresses and the flowers age, their colors will continue maturing and changing from one exciting hue to the next, finishing, in late summer and fall, with the marbled hues of antique hydrangeas
. Below are a few more sneak peeks at the varieties we have coming in!
We know you will love the gorgeously strong hydrangeas we are bringing to market this year, so let's welcome them back with a huge hurrah! With their brilliance of colors, versatility of sizes, and longevity, we are sure you will agree that these are, indeed, must-haves for all summer design (and just in time for wedding season!). To learn more about what colors and sizes we're offering, call your sales rep today!