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Lacecaps & Lily Tales

Woodland gardens with dappled shade and canopies that allow small sun windows are prefect for Lacecap Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) and Lilies.

Lacecap Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

In Lacecaps, amongst the outer corral of large sterile flowers are encased tiny delicate fertile flowers. Pink, purple, bluish tinges of petal color balance perfectly with the rich green large Hydrangea leaves. As the Latin name suggests, 'macro' refers to large and 'phylla' refers to leaf. Lacecaps pair well with Hostas, ferns, wild ginger and many other woodland ground covers. They might take a year or two to establish, but once settled in the garden, they re-bloom profusely and the shrubs grow to be a nice large stately layer in a woodland garden.

"The cymose inflorescence is composed of sterile flowers with enlarged sepals as well as inconspicuous fertile flowers, which are buried beneath the sterile flowers. The species is endemic to the central Pacific coast on the Japanese island of Honshu where the plant is known as Temari-bana." (Wilson, 1923).

"Another variety, var. normalis, coexists in the wild with var. macrophylla. This plant is known as Gaku-bana, and is the origin for the many 'lacecap' cultivars grown as garden shrubs in Great Britain (Wilson, 1923)"


Lilies are another woodland and sun garden favorite for summers. For aesthetic appeal, I suggest lighter flower colors for dappled shade locations, such as light lilacs paired with purple hostas, or creamy whites Liles with lime green Hakone grass, paired to perfection! Bright Lily colors suite best in a prominent spot in a garden, by a water feature, nice wooden fence as backdrop or a tall shrub layer.

Color might seem tough in hot summer months in mid-Atlantic gardens but adding Lilies and Lacecaps in light colors will add delicate layers and soft notes for some pretty good garden tales.

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