Nationally recognized gardening expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moment television segments. Melinda shares tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience.  New Melinda’s Garden Moment web tips will be added throughout the growing season, so be sure to check back for timely, seasonal tips to help you be successful in your gardens!

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The Best Hydrangeas for Your Garden

Brighten the shade, add structure and summer blooms to a mixed border or create a privacy screen with the help of one of the many hydrangea varieties. 

Use Annabelle-type hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) in mixed shrub borders, perennials plantings, woodland gardens and to brighten shady spots in the landscape. Grow this adaptable plant in partial shade and moist, rich, well-drained soil.

You’ll find panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) varieties from 2 to 10 feet tall. Their large cone-shaped flowers appear mid to late summer, starting out white and fading to pink and then brown.

Bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) are the colorful hydrangeas that have been mainstays of southern gardens. Repeat blooming varieties allow northern gardeners to enjoy their pink blooms in alkaline soil and blue blossoms in acidic soil. Grow bigleaf hydrangeas in moist well-drained soil in a location that receives full sun with some afternoon shade.

A bit more information: Annabelle-type and Panicle hydrangeas flower on new growth. Big leaf hydrangeas flower on the previous season’s growth. Repeat blooming, big leaf hydrangeas flower on previous and current season’s growth.

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About Melinda Myers
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on over 135 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S.  Myers is also the host of the recently released The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series.  Melinda writes a regular column for Wisconsin Gardening and Chicagoland Gardening magazines.She also writes the twice monthly Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Melinda hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. She’s the recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. Myers’ website,, features gardening videos, podcasts, monthly gardening checklists and more.