Little Honey Oakleaf Hydrangea - Morton Arboretum Sale - May 2022

This past weekend was the annual Morton Arboretum Arbor Day Plant Sale.  I've gone the past couple of years and always have such a nice time and bring home really interesting plants that you just can't find at big box nurseries.  And, their prices are pretty fair.   Over the years, I've bought grasses (All Gold Japanese Forest Grasses, Karl Foerster Grasses, Totem Pole grass), trees (a cool red Katsura and an Emperor 1 Japanese Maple), ferns (Ghost Ferns and others), sedges and both Epimedium and Pulmonaria.   Last year, I went in with a 'loose plan' and came home with a variety of plants that I really liked that work in our (mostly-shade) garden.  

If you've never been, I'll tell you:  it is REALLY HARD to focus and prioritize.  Every table has something that is interesting and unique.  And, it is REALLY EASY to just start putting stuff in your box to bring home.  Soon, the total adds up and you're buying stuff that you are drawn to but...maybe aren't your top needs.

So, this year, I came up with a plan.  I created a list of priority plants that are based on filling in the holes in our backyard plan.  Based on my 2022 to-do list, it was easy to start that priority list with shrubs.  I sketched out what I needed back earlier this Spring and have started to address the shrub needs with a combination of purchase (Viburnum), transplant (Lilacs) and supplementing (Adding Green Giant Thujas as background upright evergreens *behind* flowering shrubs).  

In my "Shrubs are my #1 Priority" post this year, I listed the material needed.  Topping that list was five (5) Oakleaf Hydrangeas and three "Little Lime" Hydrangeas.  

At the sale, I found something that sits RIGHT at the intersection of those two ideas:  Oakleaf Hydrangeas (work in shade) and "Little Lime" (dwarf that has nice foliage and flowers):   The Little Honey Oakleaf Hydrangea - Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey'.  I brought home three of them that you can see below.  I also...brought home other things that I'll post about in the coming days.  Back to these Little Honey Hydrangeas.  Aren't they interesting?

Here, below, is the sign from the Morton Arboretum Plant Sale for Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey'.  It describes the shrub as: "Dwarf variety with bright golden yellow foliage that turns a brilliant red in autumn.  Large, white flower panicles." 

And, here, below is the tag for Little Honey Oak-leaved Hydrangea:

Where are these set to go?  On the southside bed, closer to the front of the border, tucked in front of the Northern Red Oak tree over there.  Here, below, is a look at the 'slice' of that plan.  The green circles are the location for these hydrangea.  A few other notes:  The pink circles are the new (off-plan) location of three Green Giant Thujas.  That moves up the orange circles that are planned to be Tardiva Hydrangeas.  The blue evergreens are Hemlocks - which are also NOT currently planted, nor are the 4 Ostrich Ferns at the front of the border.  So...think of this hydrangea location as 'mid-border'. Which, calls for a mid-height plant.

And, that's exactly what these are:  3-4' tall and wide.  

My plan is to get these in the ground as quickly as possible in order to get them established before the heat of the Summer arrives in a month or two.  

These three shrubs add to the evidence that is piling up in regards to solving for #1 on my 2022 to-do list.  


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