Cape Cod Hydrangea Society Events


Wednesday, May 16, 6 to 8 pm, General Meeting, Harwich Community Center

Our speaker will be Mal Condon, "Hydrangeas of New Zealand and Australia"

Friday, July 6, Hydrangea University, Heald Auditorium, Heritage Museum and Gardens, Sandwich, MA

8:30-9:00 Registration and Breakfast, 9:00-12:00 Lectures; Michael Dirr, PhD, Professor, author, speaker and expert on woodly plants; Natalie Hammil, Bailey Nurseries; Mal Condon, Plants man, speaker, Curator of Hydrangeas for Heritage Museum and Gardens

Ticket information will be available closer to the event.

Hydrangea Festival garden tours, details will be announced

Saturday, September 22, 10 am, General Meeting, Harwich Community Center

Our Speaker will be Russ Norton, Horticulture Extension Director, Cape Cod Extension Service, Diseases and Pests Affecting Cape Cod Hydrangeas"

Past Events


Annual Dinner...MEMBERS ONLY

October 4th @6:00 Old Yarmouth Inn, 6A Yarmouth Port

CCHS Fall Meeting

Saturday, September 9th at 10am at Harwich Community Center

Our speaker will be our Society’s very own Dan Pessoni - The Lilly, Hosta, and now Hydrangea Man. Long in the tooth gardening-wise, he will share some of his lifetime of well learned expertise via a well-illustrated presentation entitled ‘A Walk through Driftwood Garden’. Given Dan’s vast knowledge and expressive style, this promises to be a must attend event.

Third Annual Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival

July 7 – 15
9 days of Hydrangeas from Woods Hole to Provincetown. The 3rd Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival will celebrate these beautiful blue, pink and white blooms at their peak! Take a glimpse into some of Cape Cod’s most spectacular gardens. The festival will include garden tours organized by local nonprofits and museums, along with special hydrangea-themed events and promotions.

Hydrangea University 2017

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that Heritage and the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society partner to present the 2nd annual “Hydrangea University”.

In 2016 CCHS introduced the 1st “Hydrangea U” and it was met with enormous success. This year we are fortunate to have our three professors back with new topics that will entertain and increase our knowledge of Hydrangeas. In addition, we will be adding tours of “CCHS Display Garden” and the new “Hydrangea Test Garden”. Both of these tours will be included with your ticket to this event.

Mal Condon will educate us with “Hydrangea Success-It’s More Than Just Blue” and “Growing Hydrangeas in Containers-So many Pluses”. Species will be reviewed with respect to attributes and shortcomings, pruning specifics, and planting particulars. This discussion will include the following topics; species and cultivar selection for pot culture, pot considerations, planting mixes and amendments, seasonal pruning best practices, and simple winter protection ideas.

Peg Black will discuss “The Evolution of a Cape Cod Garden” A journey through the development of a garden over several decades as told by the gardener who lived within it day-to-day and encountered the changes that came with the seasons and the years. Hydrangeas figured prominently in the later years of the garden’s development.

Joan Harrison will enlighten us on the “Colorful World of Hydrangeas” Why particular hydrangea shrubs have particular colors, or are multicolored, or changeable colors create understandable confusion. Come have the mysteries of hydrangea color cleared up once and for all.

Friday, July 7, 2017 - 9:00am to 3:00pm

Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove St, Sandwich, MA

8:30 am Registration and Breakfast

9:00 am - 12:00 pm Lectures

Followed by tours of Hydrangea Garden and Test Garden

Tickets: $60 per person, $50 for Cape Cod Hydrangea Society members and Heritage Museum members.

Includes: admission to Heritage Gardens, goodie bag, hydrangea plant, test and display garden tours

Tickets available via Heritage Gardens

We thank our generous sponsors:

CCHS Member Tour Gardens and Locations

Tickets are $5 per garden. Tours are from 10 am to 4 pm.

Saturday, July 8th

181 Thacher Shore Road, Yarmouth Port, Mal and Mary Kay Condon’s Garden

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society welcomes you to this hydrangea-centric garden in Yarmouth Port. This is a comparatively new garden; the Condon’s were serious commercial propagators and growers for 40 years. They purchased their Yarmouth Port property early in 2014 and in that autumn and during the 2015 growing season, over (200) hydrangeas were planted. H.macrophylla is the dominant species with H. paniculata and H.quercifolia in the mix. The Condon’s are also serious veggie growers utilizing raised beds to produce a wide range of favorites from tomato and eggplant through beets and carrots. Fruit is in the mix too – berries and figs (hopefully), and a new orchard of peaches and plums has been recently planted. But Mal is ‘The Hydrangea Guy’ and he’ll be giving “Summer Pinch Pruning Demonstrations” at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. This is a little practiced pruning technique for H. macrophyllas. Best done in July, this exercise creates a fuller plant, checks plant height, and best of all, increases the potential for more blooming the following summer. Be sure to note the start times; each session will last about 45 minutes.

Saturday, July 8th

121 Camp Street, Unit 106, West Yarmouth, Linda Coven’s Garden

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society is delighted to have Linda’s superb example of a small property landscape. Giving up your big family home may be easy but giving up your big garden of your treasured well-loved plants collected over many years may be more difficult. Come view a small free-standing Master Gardener’s condominium garden. Fulfilling a 17-year dream to move to Cape Cod, this 2 year old garden is a hydrangea lover’s dream boasting 65+ hydrangea cultivars - the quintessential woody ornamental genus of the Cape.

Monday, July 10th

28 Sady’s Lane, East Falmouth, Marcia & George Chapman’s Garden.

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society welcomes you to a Garden for All Seasons. Featured in the April 2017 ‘Fine Gardening’ magazine – this garden was chosen for its ability to make a mere half acre feel much larger. Winding garden paths lead the visitor through surprising vistas and vignettes. Espaliered pear and dogwood trees and archways of beeches and hydrangeas are some of the many features to be discovered in this 33 year-old garden created by the homeowners / professional horticulturists. Beds and container plantings change yearly, adding additional interest for the returning visitor. Take away ideas on layering plants and creating a four season garden. 30 hydrangea varieties are integrated into the mixed borders.

Tuesday, July 11th

Barberry Knoll, 455 Turtleback Road, Marstons Mills, Barbara & Noel Spillane’s Garden.

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society welcomes you to this delightful garden. Down a dirt road and through the stonewall entrance you will find this informal “Little Piece of Heaven’ for visitors and a “Haven” for birds located on 4.5 acres of land on Mystic Lake. The site includes a working cranberry bog in front of a farmhouse style home, a substantial rock garden behind the house that extends for almost 150 feet, and a private sandy lakeside beach. Be sure to notice the local Rabbit Band on the front porch and walk through the back garden via the fieldstone stairway passing by andromedas, rhododendrons, birch trees, hydrangeas, and rosa regosa. Stop for some refreshment on the back deck and proceed down the driveway taking note of the weeping blue atlas cedar. And there’s plenty of room to stroll around the bog or leisurely walk down to the lake and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Tuesday, July 11th

Gullane Road, Mashpee, Liz O’Shea’s Garden.

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society is delighted to have the O’Shea Garden on our tour list. This is a new effort for the O’Shea’s, having purchased the property just two years ago. They inherited a well-established landscape featuring a mix of woody ornamentals and evergreens. Hydrangeas are of particular interest and several new varieties have been added to the sizeable existing plantings. Currently, the outstanding hydrangea on the property is a very major Hydrangea anomala petiolaris specimen surrounding a major pine near the front roadside. This substantive climber is in superb condition, now reaching upwards of nearly 40 ft.

Wednesday, July 12th

1222 Stony Brook Road, Brewster, John Posey’s Garden.

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society is pleased to welcome you to this interesting and expansive property at the junction of Route 6A and Stony Brook Road in Brewster. The house – plus barn and carriage house - sits on nearly 5 acres and was built by sea captain Elisha Foster in the early 1800’s. About half of the land area is cultivated; the remainder being natural woodland. The significant plantings include several varieties of Kousa dogwood, major southern crape myrtles ‘acoma’ and ‘hopi’ (John’s special favorites), viburnum, and increasingly more hydrangeas in recent years. Perennials are gaining prominence too, especially vitex and peonies. All of the ‘new’ has been well blended with the older genera on the property.

Sunday, July 16th

4 Driftwood Lane, East Orleans, Dan Pessoni’s Garden.

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society welcomes you to Dani’s Driftwood Garden in East Orleans. This garden is the outer Cape’s only Nationally Registered American Hemerocallis (Daylily) Display Garden, with 750 different varieties of labeled current and modern daylilies. Daylilies and Hydrangeas are at peek bloom at the same time in July. Wander past the tiered bank of perennials and then relax in the huge shade garden, where over 350 labeled varieties of Hosta are interspersed with Heuchera, Ferns, and Solomon’s Seal. Special beds have been created for small and miniature Hosta. After leaving the shade garden, enjoy Dan’s continuingly expanding Hydrangea Garden with now over 90 labeled varieties. Should you visit the garden mid-spring, 40 different varieties of rhododendrons will be in full bloom. Located throughout the gardens are 15 specimen trees, including Stewartia, Heptacodium, (Seven Son Flower), Heritage Birch, Tricolor Leaf Beech, and Harry Lauder’s walking sticks, green and crimson.

CCHS Spring Meeting

Wednesday May 17: 6:00 pm at Harwich Community Center


2016 CCHS Display Garden Volunteer Dates

Time: 10am - noon
All members are invited to join the CCHS Display Garden Team at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich to help in our beautiful display garden. This is our bi-weekly “hands on” opportunity to work and learn in the garden. We work closely with Mal Condon, the garden Curator, to learn the latest in hydrangea garden techniques. We can’t guarantee that he will be in the garden at every work session, but he will pop in at times to help, to teach, and to guide us. Mal is a generous teacher, always happy to share his extensive knowledge of hydrangeas and all things garden.

Working in the display garden is a wonderful chance to see the CCHS hydrangeas as well as to see all that Heritage has to offer. Heritage has acres of gardens, including the famous Dexter Rhododendrons, and collections of day lilies, hosta, heather, and many varieties of mature trees, plants and shrubs. Heritage also has a lovely carousal, antique autos, and early American art.

Helping in the garden is a great way to meet other gardeners and to really take ownership of our garden. One of our members said it this way, “I feel like we belong there”.

Plan on joining us this summer!

Second Annual Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival

Hydrangea University

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society proudly announces “Hydrangea University”.  This is the “Kick Off” event for the 2nd annual Hydrangea Festival. Hydrangea University is a seminar that will both inspire and educate gardeners on the genus hydrangea.   It will be held from 8:00-12:00 on Friday, July 8, 2016.  Hydrangea University will register participants and serve a continental breakfast from 8:00-9:00.  Each participant will receive a goodie bag and a hydrangea plant. The cost of attending is $45.00 per person.  Knight Auditorium at Barnstable High School will be the setting for this comprehensive learning experience.  Mal Condon, plantsman, will educate participants about the care and planting of hydrangeas in his talk, “Success with Hydrangeas”.  In her talk, “Designing with Hydrangeas”, landscape designer Peg Black will teach the best ways of incorporating hydrangeas into your garden.  Joan Harrison, author, will identify which hydrangeas to consider for your home garden in her talk, “The Best of the Best: New Varieties and Old Favorites”.

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society - Propagation (members only)

Propagation 101 Taking cuttings from mature plants and striking (sticking, planting) these in appropriate soil mix.

Pinch prune young plants to encourage new branches for a fuller plant. With all types of hydrangea, it pays dividends to build a strong bushy plant before you worry about flowers. The first few years after being planted are the most important for pruning, because it builds the foundation for years to come. As a young plant, it is best to prune or pinch your plant in order to build a full bodied, well-branched plant. Every time you cut off the growing tip of a plant, you get twice as many branches and thus in the long-run, more flowers.

Propagation 201 Transplant 1 and 2 year old plants into larger containers; once again appropriate soil mixes are essential.

CCHS Pot Luck Dinner

CCHS Fall Meeting at the Harwich Community Center

Annual Dinner - Members Only