Botanic name: Hydrangea anomala
Common name: Climbing hydrangea
Family: Hydrangeaceae

This unusual Asian vine was originally planted in the garden by John and Lilla Leach.  You will notice that its woody stems will reach out to trees or other supports sending out aerial rootlets to anchor itself.  In the absence of something to climb, it will form a sprawling ground cover. The vines sprout opposite, simple, serrate, ovate, dark green leaves that may get up to 4” long, and white flowers in fragrant clusters that form a flat top. See if you can locate it along the path leading to the upper garden.

Botanic name: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Beni-Gaku’
Common name: Mountain  hydrangea ‘Beni-Gaku’
Family: Hydrangeacae

From a compact deciduous shrub with foliage of narrow-ish ovate dark green leaves with a red tinge spring flower clusters that can get up to 6” across.  The outer part of the cluster is ringed with white sepals gradually mature with color, with a center of flowerettes that emerge dark purple, but appear blue upon opening.  It may require more than one trip to enjoy its many looks.

Botanic name: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lanarth White’
Common name: Big leaf hydrangea
Family: Hydrangeaceaeae

When you see a hydrangea with a lacecap of white flowers ringing corymb  (tiny pink or blue flowerettes,) you have found this plant in the garden.  Look for a shrub that is 3-6’ tall and wide, with larger serrate obvate to elliptical dark green leaves anywhere from  4”-8” long. The flowers and corymb are spectacular close up.

Botanic name: Hydrangea quercifolia
Common name: Oakleaf hydrangea
Family: Hydrangeaceae

Every family has its outlier, and hydrangea are no different.  You might not even realize you are looking at a hydrangea. It is a suckering, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub that typically stands upright 4-6′ tall. In contrast to its relatives, this hydrangea’s white flowers form spires on long stems on exfoliating branches sprouting 3-7 lobed, oak-like, dark green leaves. True to its family trait, the flowers  take on a tinge of pink or purple as they mature. With its oak-like leaves and long stems of flowers it’s quite distinctive. 

Botanic name: Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Roseum’
Common name:  Japanese hydrangea vine
Family: Hydrangeaceae

​You’ll  notice this hydrangea climbing the masonry of the Manor House.  While our other hydrangeas have serrate, ovate leaves, this vine has serrate heart-shaped 3-5”  leaves sprouting from woody vines that cling to masonry or trees. Its lace cap, true-to-form hydrangea flowers are white with a pink tinge and attract butterflies.


December is time for evergreens to shine….

What do they have in common?

These plants all have something in common other than being residents at the garden…

Quiet Winter Blooms

One typically does not think of a garden being particularly interesting in February, however…

Fabulous Fall Fruits

Look closely and you will see that the garden plays host to many autumn fruits that are easy to overlook…

Pretty Pink Flourishes

Stroll through the garden and enjoy the many pink and white flourishes…

May Flowers

It’s that time of year! Pollinators and garden lovers rejoice, the blooms are here…

November’s Fall Garden Treasure Hunt

To all eyes it would seem the garden is quieting down for the season, but if you look closely…


There are several different kinds of Hydrangeas that grow in our area….

The Great Leach Garden Bamboo Mystery

In our August Garden Journal entry, we are focusing on the garden’s bamboo…

Bee Loving Native Shrubs

June is a busy time for pollinators, and the garden offers many native shrubs for them…

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