Garden Wisdom

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.."  -Alfred Austin



About Me

Jeff, Gardener in Chief

Contrary to popular opinion, some people in the Hamptons enjoy getting their hands dirty. I'm a self-taught gardener in East Hampton, NY that enjoys sharing my gardening experiences and inspiration with others. Hope you enjoy my blog and galleries.

Read more about me and my garden here.


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American Beauties


Recently I learned, contrary to local belief, oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) are not native to the Northeast.  Interestingly, this shrub was listed in a favorite book: Native Plants of the Northeast by Donald J. Leopold.  The author does reveal in his introduction that he included a few plants, like the oakleaf hydrangea, that grow naturally just outside the Northeast but adapt well to our Northern range. Its natural range is actually the Southeast.  As you can tell, it's adapted well in my Hamptons garden.

'Snow Queen' with Ostrich ferns

I have planted several groupings of the fullsize varieties  ('Snow Queen' and 'Alice') plus the smaller 'Pee Wee' variety placed in tighter spaces.  The largest are pruned lightly and now stand about 8 feet tall.

 'Pee Wee' with ferns and astilbe

The Pee Wees are about 4 feet high.  I do prune these a bit every year or so to keep them within the allotted areas. However, they bloom on old wood so too much pruning will reduce the following year's bloom count.

'Pee Wee' flanking a birdbath

All varieties bloom better with some sun. Without sun, you'll get mostly leaves.

The fall color is beautiful as the leaves turn a purple/maroon color and the blooms turn pinkish.  The bare branches with their peeling bark adds architecture to the winter garden as well.

This all-American shrub deserves a place in your garden.

Reader Comments (3)

Wow Hamptons gardens are really very nice and have natural feelings. you have a nice collection of Hampton
Gardens." rel="nofollow">small garden design

June 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSmall Garden Design


June 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The oakleafs and ostrich ferns are some of my lowest maintenance plantings. They create a nice show with minimal labor allowing me to focus on other areas. I guess you could call it my fallback planting design as you will see it in a few places in the garden. Thanks.

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