Summer White Super Combo

Spikes of white buckeye coming into bloom

Short panicles of Snowflake hydrangea blooms

White buckeye and Snowflake hydrangea combination in bloom

I really like summer whites in my garden. They brighten the shade but sill have a cooling effect. Today, I marveled at the white buckeye and Snowflake hydrangeas in bloom together. Both the plants are in light shade and under a red maple. That means with the fibrous roots of the red maple they are in root competition with the tree, yet both plants are thriving. The Snowflake hydrangeas are about 15 years old, and the white buckeyes are at least 10 years old. While neither plant is hard to find, you might have to call around to find the white buckeye. Both deciduous plants have been easy to grow, and have graced me with consistent flowers for years. One important thing is that in dry weather both these plants need water, and I have mine mulched with pine straw. It is still fine to plant these in bloom.  I prefer both the plants to be in filtered shade, but they will take a good bit of sun. However, they will stress with too much. So if you don’t have these plants in your garden, you can see both in bloom at Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Aldridge Gardens. Both are free and open to the public.

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John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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