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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Summer Courtyard Blue Hydrangeas

Monday, June 17, 2019


Blue hydrangeas were one of my mother's favorite flowers and from loving her summer gardens filled with blue hydrangeas, they  became one of my favorite flowers, too. When I found Nantucket Blue® hydrangeas on sale over Memorial Day weekend, I bought several plants for both my semi-shady front entry courtyard and my back porch. 


Summer Courtyard Garden with Blue Hydrangeas
The entry to our home is a smallest-of-small courtyards, somewhat hidden from the country road, and a challenge for garden plants. 



S U M M E R   C O U R T Y A R D   

B L U E   H Y D R A N G E A S   



Summer Courtyard Garden with Blue Hydrangeas and antique Chicago brick walkway and porch
In reality, this front door is supposed to be a back door according to our house plans. However, since the driveway to our house faces the west, we chose to site our house with the front of the house facing the east and shade trees, and use the 'back door' as the main entrance to our house. 

Fed-Ex and UPS drivers sometimes get confused and walk around to the back porch to leave package deliveries. Totally understandable. 



Summer Courtyard Garden with Blue Hydrangeas and boxwood shrubs along antique Chicago brick sidewalk
As you approach the blue front door, the small courtyard is still hidden from view. 



Summer Courtyard Hidden Garden with Blue Hydrangeas lead to antique Chicago brick porch
Once you step past the corner yaupon holly shrub, you can see the tiny courtyard that is a challenge for what to plant. This west side of the house gets morning shade and part afternoon shade along with another part of the area getting blistering afternoon sun in the height of summer. 



Summer Courtyard Hidden Garden with Blue Hydrangeas coordinated with blue front door
For early summer this year, the Nantucket Blue® hydrangeas add beautiful French blue color that coordinates with the color of the front door. 

One of the reasons the front door is painted blue is to catch the attention of anyone who is looking for the front door, but obviously does not always work for . . .  FedEx and UPS drivers...  Of course, the color was also inspired by blue doors all over France



Summer Courtyard Blue French Hydrangeas on Front Porch
A reason to plant beautiful, colorful shrubs, in addition to painting a colorful front door, is to highlight the front courtyard and front door to help visitors know where to go to enter the house. 



Summer Courtyard Blue Hydrangeas Add Curb Appeal to antique Chicago brick porch
Last fall, we spruced up the courtyard to give the area better curb appeal. 



Summer Courtyard Blue Hydrangeas beautify hidden garden
We power-washed the cedar siding, added a metal window box, and planted new boxwood shrubs under the window box shown and along the narrow strip between the old Chicago brick walkway and the house. 



Summer Courtyard Blue Hydrangeas and boxwood shrubs beautify front entry and porch
The boxwoods did well over the winter, and sprouted lots of new growth this spring. Summer heat is yet to come which will be the new boxwood's final test. 



Summer Courtyard Blue Hydrangeas with concrete garden bench and iron ivy covered trellis
The new blue hydrangea plants are not planted, but instead sit inside French-design flower pots added last fall. 



Summer Courtyard Blue Hydrangeas along antique brick sidewalk receive too much sun
The front courtyard will not be their permanent spot due to the direct afternoon sun this area of the courtyard gets each day in the summer. 



Summer Courtyard Blue Hydrangeas add color to shade loving ivy planted pots
Ivy seems to like this semi-shady area and grows well in a large French-design planter. Two kinds of ivy fill the container and spill over the sides to the ground. With a little luck, perhaps the ivy will also grow in the ground around the container. We will not let the ivy grow on the siding of the house since that could damage the wood. 



Summer Courtyard Blue Hydrangeas at blue front door
The hydrangea in the flower pot next to the front door will also be moved to a different place since it does not get enough sun on the shaded front porch. Nantucket Blue® hydrangeas are a new variety to me, and the label's directions indicate the plant will re-bloom all summer. 



Summer Courtyard Blue Hydrangeas go with blue front door holding a metal basket of ivy
The front courtyard and porch are difficult gardening areas, but ivy is one thing that seems to do well wherever it is planted. 



Summer Courtyard Blue Hydrangeas go with blue front door
For early summer, the blue hydrangea plants in the entry courtyard bring joie de vivre (joy of living), both when coming into the house and leaving. They remind me of the gorgeous flowers my mother grew all over her yard. 



Summer Courtyard Blue Hydrangeas will be replaced with bright red holly berries in Winter
A promise of a beautiful winter courtyard-to-come is the berry-laden holly tree. 

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Thank you for visiting my summer courtyard with blue hydrangeas.  See links to more posts you may enjoy.

Create an Inviting Summer Porch for a visit to more blue hydrangeas on the back porch . 

Tips to Get Hydrangeas to Bloom shares 5 tips for getting hydrangeas to bloom... and in your favorite color. 

Fall Front Porch Decorating Ideas In Color  has photos BEFORE and AFTER sprucing up the front entry. See the front entry decorated for Fall using non-traditional Fall colors. 


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French-inspired garden and home. 


Happy Summer Gardening 


9 comments:

  1. Beautiful court yard. The hydrangeas are gorgeous. I like them, but we can't grow them in our climate.

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  2. Love your entrance. I planted 4 hydrangeas last year and only one survived. I am so glad that it did. They are so pretty.

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  3. I had a hydrangea for years that never bloomed. We finally moved it to a space in our back yard. Still no blooms. The plant ended up being totally buried when we planted a raised garden with a stone wall. A year later it fought its way to the top and lo and behold! Bloomed and grew into a beautiful plant. I guess it knew we were through with it unless we saw some flowers!

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  4. As I said on Instagram, I adore hydrangea! Those are so beautiful! I'm loving them in those pots! I've seen P. Allen Smith has hydrangea in pots! I just wonder how they would do here in PA over the winter! Going to think about this!

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  5. Judith, I love your blue front door and how you have made the courtyard so inviting.

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  6. Beautiful and inviting courtyard! Hydrangeas are another flower I don't seem to have good luck with so I applaud your efforts. :-) I also love the aged brick.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

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  7. This is so pretty! I think planting the blue hydrangeas and painting the door blue was such a fabulous idea. It's such a nice hint of what's inside the house.

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  8. Your hydrangeas are stunning! Love how they make a gorgeous intro to your courtyard and home. That blue is like the brightest nuance of sky and it goes perfectly with your blue doors. Great idea to paint them that way!

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  9. Your small courtyard is the dreamiest space! Every part of it looks exactly right - the patina on the bricks is lovely. I adore hydrangea - in other people's yards. I tried one a couple of years ago and it dwindled away on me.

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