Last winter was a really harsh one (at least by Baltimore standards) and one of our two hydrangeas almost didn’t make it. It grew back just from the roots and I had to cut off all the old growth. This is in the back of our house.
In our front yard, near our rock garden/strawberry patch, we have another hydrangea that survived completely unscathed by the winter.
I was a bit mystified as to why the one almost died and the other one was fine until our morning with Cathy, one of our neighborhood master gardeners. She explained to me that the colored hydrangeas are hybrids, having been bred for color. The white/light green ones are the original native hydrangeas (i.e. the ones just found in nature) and are naturally more resistant to cold and better suited to growing in harsh environments. She told me that she’d heard the same story from lots of gardeners – that their hybrid hydrangeas had died back this past winter but their natives had come through easily.
Native plants for the win! For landscaping, we’re sticking with natives from now on!
But wait, you noticed the fig leaves in the top picture?
Figs are decidedly NOT native to Maryland (being from the Mediterranean) but when it comes to edibles, we’re happy to coax along plants and bushes that give us good things to eat. We planted both of these last summer (terrible timing, we know) but thankfully, the root balls and the bottom few inches of the trees survived the winter.
And now look – baby figs!