Friday, June 26, 2009

Vaughn's Lillie Oakleaf Hydrangea

It is pretty close to maximum hydrangea time here at Tiger Gardens. Since I've already posted about that wonderful time, I think I'll simply post about one of my hydrangeas today. It is Vaughn's Lillie and is a sweet little oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia 'Vaughn's Lillie').

Oakleafs are my favorite hydrangeas because they give year round interest and are very easy to grow. I think they are the easiest of all the hydrangeas and most adaptable. They are drought tolerant and can be grown in a wide range of conditions such as full shade to full sun. They are most splendid. If happy, oakleafs can grow to be very large. This can be a drawback so breeders have begun trying to breed smaller oakleaf hydrangeas. One such cultivar is Vaughn's Lillie.
I had the pleasure of visiting the world renown Don Shadow Nursery in Winchester Tennessee last May with my master gardener group. One of the plants I purchased was this little hydrangea. Hey, how could I pass up a new cultivar (at least to me) of an oakleaf? I've been most pleased with it's performance. This shrub is planted in full shade right next to a mature oak tree. It gets no special care, but just plugs along at it's own pace. In the one year it's been growing here, it has filled out rather nicely and not grown up all that much. See how full it is even in full shade? You can just see the oak tree's trunk in the back lefthand corner of the picture. This oakleaf was bred to remain only about 3-4 feet tall and wide. It is also a double. The blooms are so compact and dense that you cannot see through it at all. A really nice feature of the blooms is that when they begin going by they turn a chartreuse color and remain so for several months, finally turning to a brown. A lovely shrub....

in the garden....

This was not the original post I had planned on posting today. I have tried without luck to get permission to post a lovely garden in Franklin, so this is a back up. Hope you all enjoyed the Garden Tour Week and don't mind the hydrangea.

Final note: As a person who grew up in the 1970s I was most influenced by both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5. Yesterday was a sad day and both of these icons will be missed. I wish for the best for their families in this time of grief.


  1. Very neat hydrangea! I don't suppose it's self seeded any? What garden was it that you were touring?

  2. Good morning Dave. This oakleaf has not self seeded but if does I'll be sure to let you know. I do have one oakleaf that gifted me with 26 seedlings two years ago. Some of them actually bloomed this year. Yours in the corner looks to be in a perfect place to do the same thing. It was the Hewitt Garden in Franklin. They own the Hewitt Nursery. It was so awesome.

  3. Oakleaf hydrangeas are my favourite hydrangeas, I think because they have a looser more casual habit. But I don't think they are drought tolerant here. So far I have avoided them because I always thought they were thirsty.
    Yes, it's sad about M.J. He seemed very sad and strange, but was a superb musician.

  4. I love the heart shape I see in the bloom... Thirsty...I think the real issue at C&L is that they need sharper drainage then I previously thought! gail

  5. oh Tina, welch wunderschöne Pflanze !!! herzlich Kathrin

  6. That is a lovely hydrangea Tina. I have one but sadly I have no idea what the name is. It just started blooming last yr. but had only small {pinkish} blooms. I have it at the NE corner of my home. Wonder if it's in the wrong place!!!!

    Skeeter do be careful on the road. Have a safe trip back to Ga.

    Anonymous, have a wonderful day with those kiddos. They don't stay small long.

    Hi Nina, Dawn & Jean, do hope your day is great & to your liking.

  7. This is a real pretty hydrangea, then again they all are!
    I was very shocked to turn the tv over to the news and find mj died. He had his sprial, and fall, but he did wonderful things for the entertainment business, he will be missed along with ff. As icons while I was growing up, I never thought about them dying. She will be immortalize in tv/screen.

  8. I would love to add an oakleaf hydrangea to my garden, but can't decide on a good place to put it. This smaller cultivar would be perfect for many gardeners who don't have the space for the larger one.

    I remember Farah Fawcett in her early acting career--every girl wanted hair like that! And I can remember watching little Michael as part of the Jackson Five years ago. So sad about both of them; their lives were much too short.

  9. Hi Tina, I'm a hydrangea lover too. I wish I could grow that variety up here. It would be nice to have one that wasn't a sponge needing water all the time.


  10. I love oakleaf hydrangeas too. While I tend to think with plants, the bigger the better, I've been looking for a smaller variety to plant in a friend's small front yard, this is just perfect.

  11. I have my first Oakleaf Hydrangea, can't wait to see it bloom next year. Yes, it was a sad day yesterday!

  12. Catmint, It is so sad about these two icons. Yup, I think Australia might be a bit out the oakleafs comfort zone. They do like regular water.

    Gail, I'm just noticing the heart shape-thanks.

    Kathrin, Glad you like it.

    Lola, I think all oakleaf hydrangeas are perfect. So glad you have one to enjoy.

    Dawn, It was something. No one expected that from MJ but of course it was expected with Farrah. Remember 'Puppy Love'? That is all I hear in my head today.

    Rose, There are other small oakleaf. PeeWee is a good one and I think the other is Silkes Dwarf. Yes, I think sometimes smaller is better. It was most sad on these two. The press sums it up, even though we don't know these folks they are a part of our life each day and we miss them when they go. Also, we for sure never expect them to die so when they do it is a shock for all. They will be missed.

    Marnie, Aren't those hydrangeas great?

    Megan, Big is great, but it's nice to fill in with some smaller things I think. They accentuate the big.

    Darla, Me too! Yes, a sad day.

    I'm on my way out of town. See you all later.

  13. I love oakleaf hydrangeas and would like to add more (must find space first, though). This smaller one looks perfect.

    Always Growing

  14. Beautiful Hydrangea - is it evergreen? I ask because you said it lends year round interest. Just curious.
    It is sad with the passing of the 2. Even grown up mommies wanted Farrahs hair (and everything else that went with it) how could we not? LOL

  15. That is a beautiful Oakleaf I hadn't seen before. They are the best hydrangeas.
    That was sad news yesterday, it was just shocking to hear about Michael Jackson.

  16. Very pretty and I can also see a heart of sorts.

    Yes, very sad but my first reaction
    when I heard about MJ was "Oh no, they will let FF go and all we will hear is MJ" I think when you compare the 2 lifes, FF gets top notch for me. She worked much more than MJ and you just can't compare the personal lives. MJ sure had a great talent but was too messed up as a person to do what he should of with it. Sadly, my first reaction has come true with all the tv channels except for my local news and they pretty much did equal time for each. I am a news junkie and only watch news channels on tv but they also make me mad at times with their one sideness.

  17. Jan, They are pretty awesome for sure.

    Linda, No, not evergreen but oakleafs have a cinnamon colored peeling bark and their silhouette gives great interest to the winter garden. Their leaves turn all sorts of shades of red and burgundy in the fall. Yup, I still want Farrah's hair!

    Catherine, This oakleaf doesn't seem to be too much on the market, but it is out there for sure. It was so sad for sure.

  18. Mom, I think they've done a great job of highlighting both lives. But you have to admit, MJ dying was a bit sudden and shocking so probably does get top billing. I think he'll be remembered for his tremendous talent. FF will be remembered for a long long time too. I did not know she was only an angel for one season. Too short! Yesterday will be marked with great sadness for a long long time to lose two icons of our time on one day for sure.

  19. Oakleaf Hydrangeas are my favorite so I don't mind at all the interruption in Garden Tour week. Hopefully, you'll get permission and post about the garden later. My Oakleaf didn't come out so well this spring (we had an exceptionally dry winter) so I had to do a little pruning. I'm doubting it will flower at all this year. :-(
    Smaller specimens would be welcome. I thought yesterday was a sad day too.

  20. It's great to see all the gardens, but it's also nice to enjoy your hydrangea.

    I didn't think that I was that immersed in pop culture, but having both figures pass on the same day hit me surprisingly hard. Funny isn't it? People you never will know can have such a powerful effect.

  21. I love Oak-Leaved Hydrangeas too. You got to go to Don Shadow's Nursery?! Lucky you! :)

  22. Kathleen, Glad you like it the oakleaf. Your oakleaf will bounce back no time. Yes, yesterday a sad day.

    James, Glad you like it. Yes, folks don't realize just how much celebrities are a part of their lives until they pass. Then it hits ya right in the face.

    Sweet Bay, I know how lucky am I to see his nursery AND meet him and hear him talk. I posted about it. Not sure why I didn't link, but the tag is there under Don Shadows. He is an amazing gardener. While we walked thru the nursery he was pulling weeds. Can you imagine? This hydrangea is all the more special coming from there.

  23. how do you know what oakleaf hydrangea you have? i have very large spralling ones. i love mine...i think they look beautiful in every season. you will really love having them and probably want to add more.

  24. Prime Hyudranga time! So any hydrangea that was planning to bloom this year would have formed buds by now, right? I have two growing in almost identical conditions - one is blooming and one is not! Weird.

    Maybe a bouquet is in order today in memory of Michael and Farrah.

  25. That's a wonderful dwarf oakleaf. I might have to put that on my list since I don't have room for a larger specimen. The blooms are fab!

  26. I sure miss growing hydrangeas. That's a gorgeous one.


  27. Wow! You got to go to Don Shadows, that's horticultural holy land. As far as MJ goes, I only noticed the girls arguing as to who was better, MJ or Donny Osmond. They boys could have cared less, until a few years later when a certain poster of FF ended up in many of our bedrooms.

  28. hi Tina, love the Oakleaf Hydrangeas--and they do give many seasons of color. Hoping that I will have room for one in SC. Had one in the backyard, didn't like the saltwater. :-(

  29. I've been thinking about getting an oakleaf for years now ever since I saw it on "gardening by the yard".
    Your's looks perfect !
    Haven't seen any around here though. :(

  30. Hydrangeas are so beautiful; I have tried several times to grow them in my tropical climate but haven’t been very successful.

  31. I think of you when I see hydrangeas, remembering the story of the cutting from you mother’s garden. I’d like to plant a couple out front, but we’ve been traveling too much.

  32. Marmee, it is hard to know the cultivar but it seems most sold in big box stores are 'Alice' or 'Snow Queen'. They are the big ones. There are other cultivars for sure. These two get quite large. You can compare photos of the blooms with pictures on the web, but it takes time but if you wish to know yours, check out the hydrangea website.

    JGH, Oakleafs and mopheads form buds on last year's growth. If one of the hydrangeas got a late freeze or did not get so much good water last year, it might explain its reluctance to bloom. Frustrating I know. A bouguet would be perfect for these two icons.

    Racquel, I hope your 'Little Honey' is doing well. I'd love one of those.

    Cameron, I think they are yummy deer food for sure. But perhaps you could fit one sometime. Maybe where the privet were growing?

    Les, Oh yes you bet it was! A wonderful trip and well worth the time. He is so gracious and has such a top notch zoo and plant varieties. I bought quite a bit as did others. It was most fun and pretty close. I got quite a chuckle from your Farrah/MJ comment. Yup, that poster has been everywhere. Still got it? Might be worth something if only for sentimental reasons.

    Janet, Hearing about your land it sounds like you'll have tons of room for some oakleafs. They will fit right in. Saltwater, uh, no thanks.

    Patsi, I haven not noticed so many up there either but there is no reason why they would not grow there. You might have to travel south to buy one for your yard. I have to travel north to get Joe Pye for mine. Too funny huh?

    Rusty, all the lovelies you can grow in your garden surely make up for the hydrangeas. Your garden is looking most lovely.

    Sarah, It is true I love hydrangeas and they surely remind me of my mother. The one I took from her garden is doing the best in my yard too. Go figure. A northern transplant that loves the heat and blooms each year, whereas the southern purchases wilt and rarely bloom. Ha! Glad you are back safe and sound from England. No more moose on the runway scares.

  33. I've always wanted an oak leaf hydrangea. It wouldn't even have to flower, it's the leaves that most interest me on this variety.

  34. I've been learning a lot about hydrangeas online in the last year, and now I've learned more. I really like these oak leaf hydrangeas (although to me the leaves look a lot more like maples); love the idea of the blooms turning chartreuse and of red peely bark. Thanks for the introduction.

    Glad your mother's hydrangea thrives in your yard. I think mothers have power even beyond the grave.

  35. Tina...mind? That's a beautiful hydrangea and I'm glad to see it. Thanks.
    As for these two personalities FF didn't get much mention but all the channels are full of MJ. Who can deny the global impact that Michael Jackson had? People of our generation have all been big fans, at least during the "Thriller" days.

  36. Hello all. I made it back to Georgia to find a dry yard! Not much rain while I was away and everything is so thirsty! Was nice to wake up by my hubby this morning!

    I noticed lots of Oak-leaf Hydrangeas while in TN. They had them in the courtyard at the Hospital by the waiting room windows. I was admiring them while waiting for my mom to get X-Rays on a sore hip. Bugs had gotten to them and they needed to weed the area also. Only a gardener would have noticed the weeds. tee hee...

    Sad to hear about FF and MJ. Heard lots of MJ songs on the radio while in the car yesterday.

    Tina, didn't Donny Osmond sing Puppy Love?

  37. TC, They are great-get yourself one soon.

    Pomona, Yes, hydrangeas are awesome!

    Kanak, That is a shame for sure. Here they got fairly equal time. Such a sad day for all.

    Skeeter, Glad you made it home. Uh duh me on the Puppy Love. I had no idea it was Donny Osmond! I always though MJ. Ha! Thanks for setting me right. Too funny.

  38. Always wanted oakleaf since I saw them on "gardening by the yard".
    Haven't seen any around here.
    Maybe some day...

  39. This one is a winner in my book, Tina.