July 5th, 2015, will go down in history as a most memorable day.  First there was the FIFA Women’s World Cup Soccer final where the USA thrashed Japan, then there was the Greek referendum where the Greek people decided on the financial future of their country and then there was Heritage Hydrangeas’ Annual Open Garden Day in South Surrey.  We can disregard the first two.

Over 200 gardening enthusiasts turned up at Heritage Hydrangeas’ Open Garden Day to view the vast display of over 130 varieties of hydrangea – the largest collection in Canada.

IMGP5593

The vast majority of visitors were local gardeners, but members of other garden clubs from as far away as Squamish and Hope arrived by the bus-load. 

Did they come simply to see the largest collection of hydrangeas in Canada or did they come to see what damage had been caused by the three-month drought?  All hydrangeas had been instructed to be at their blooming best on July 5th but some suffered from premature flowering others from shyness or maybe some were just recalcitrant.  The recent hot weather had brought many into bloom a week or two earlier than usual and some were showing signs of sun-burn, but overall the hydrangea display was magnificent.

Lost photo

In the weeks prior to the Open Day, the head gardener had been busy watering the garden at 5:30 a.m. each morning retiring indoors by 11:00 a.m. before he, too, wilted in the hot sun.

The heroes and heroines of the Open Garden 2015 were, of course, all the people who gave their support to this event.  But the stars of the show were the hydrangeas:

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Ramars'

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ramars’

IMGP5639 Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Star Gazer’.
IMGP5606

A big thank you to everyone who donated to The Canadian Cancer Society who kindly ran the refreshments table.  Apparently, they were well pleased with the day’s results.  All funds raised will go to their great cause.

IMGP5626

The display of hydrangeas appeared to stimulate animated conversation among the visitors.

IMGP5688

A small section of the hydrangeas on display; all looking their best.

IMGP5702
IMGP5679

The hydrangea collection continues to grow.  Seventeen new additions were made in 2015 – mainly new shrubs from Japan – these are still looking rather small but should look great in 2016.  2016 may also see the construction of a new bed, 70ft x 8ft, so ‘goodbye’ to more lawn and ‘hello’ to perhaps 20 new hydrangeas in 2016!

IMGP5613B

There’s always room for one or two more hydrangeas in any garden!

 

Comments from visitors to the Heritage Hydrangeas garden said:

“130 varieties?  They all look the same to me.”

“Blue, pink and white; blue, pink and white; blue pink and white.  So monotonous. Blue, pink and white; blue, pink and white; blue pink and white.  I can’t sleep thinking about blue, pink and white hydrangeas. Blue, pink and white; blue pink and white.”

“Barry’s hobby has become his obsession.  His obsession has become a mental disorder.  His mental stability is sinking in a sea of hydrangeas.”

“This property should be redeveloped to create 47 town houses.  This would support the City of Surrey’s policy of growing Surrey into the most overcrowded city in Western Canada.  Cover the hydrangeas in asphalt.”

“Mopheads?  Lacecaps?  I’m confused already.”