The Kaufman Hydrangea Garden at Norfolk Botanical Garden
Just where I least expected it, grounding a forest of tall cypress and other trees is the 1.5 acre Kaufman Hydrangea Garden right at Norfolk Botanical Garden in Virginia.
I headed there just last weekend during our tour of Virginia Gardens and boy was I thrilled to stumble upon it! I’ve been shooting Hydrangeas for weeks now to get ready for a post on the bloom. I just about dropped my jaw to the ground on turning the corner into this hydrangea wonderland.
I had no idea that Norfolk not only had a garden of them, it has the mother-load garden of them and they are in full bloom! There were so many fantastical species I didn’t know where to begin photographing!
Perry Mathewes, editor of the Northfolk Botanical Garden’s website was kind enough to point out, “We hold the country’s only NAPCC (North American Plant Collections Consortium) collection of hydrangeas and have over 200 different cultivars and species. A great chance to compare all sorts of Hydrangeas!
Indeed it’s true! The Kaufman Hydrangea Garden boasts nearly 300 hydrangeas with the Bigleaf as it’s, “most prevalent species in the garden.” It is a great place to see just how many differences there are between them.
I especially loved the variegated leaves on this particular plant. The yellow is striking!
Of course Norfok Botanical Garden is also great on it’s Hydrangea education. There are plenty of signs with all the Hydrangea details you could ask for. I came upon one that explains, “Red or blue hydrangea flower color is determined by the amount of aluminum in the soil.” This, it continues, “… is determined by the amount of acidity of the soil. ”
“Blue Flowers,” it adds, “occur when the soil is acidic (a pH of 6-7) and aluminium is available to the plant.”
“Here,” they illlustrate, ”naturally acid conditions reduce the pH and change cultivars like ‘Pink Beauty’ to shades of blue and purple.”
“Clam shells, oyster shells or lime can be used to make the soil more alkaline to help maintain the red coloring.” the sign continues. They also show some of the species on the signs, but with so many looking similar to one another I didn’t even dare try to name them here.
If your a hydrangea lover like I am, this the time to head on over to The Kaufman! This is but one of thirty themed gardens at Norfolk Botanical Garden! There are more hydrangeas in other areas of the Norfolk Botanical Garden as well. For more information visit http://www.norfolkbotanicalgarden.org
Well, I hope to get back down for more before the season’s out. If you get a chance to head here, bring the camera! It’s well worth the trip! Hope everyone is have a great Spring!
Britt : )
- My Hydrangea Quest!
- Bicentennial Rose Garden at Norfolk Botanical Garden
- Winter Camellias at Norfolk Botanical Garden
- Winter at Norfolk Botanical Garden
- The Photo Garden Bee Tours Three Fantastic Gardens across Virginia!