Friendship, Devotion, Perseverance and Understanding

By Jim Sollecito

Sollecito: “We can help you find the panicle hydrangea to suit your space. So you can smile every time you look outdoors.”
Sollecito: “We can help you find the panicle hydrangea to suit your space. So you can smile every time you look outdoors.”

OK, suffice to say this is not a typical year. But the nurturing sun still rises and shines. Vital warm rains fall. Plants reward us with lush growth. As Joni Mitchell suggested, we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Some events are beyond our control but there is a calm undercurrent every time we place a shovel in the soil and plant something. This has been my salvation no matter what was going on in the world or in my brain. The mere act of planting is an unsurpassed form of therapy.

I have learned a lot from time spent in parts of the world where there is no access to pesticides. I understand matching the plant to the location, planting it correctly, and then giving water when required. These three considerations really can almost guarantee success. I favor plants that don’t need to be sprayed. I don’t sell bagged lawn chemicals. We’ve all learned surprise lessons from moments when we had been otherwise thoroughly self-assured. Tipping back on my chair while in class was a favorite balancing act in junior high. I thought it was cool. Once when I tipped back a bit too far Mr. Ridgeway and his board of education made certain I end that practice. Likewise, it might seem like a good idea to apply all kinds of lawn products and hope for success. But just paying a bit of attention to mowing and watering might be a lot less costly, and achieve better results.

That brings me to my point, which is to carefully select plants that will waste neither your money nor your time. There are wonderful choices that can easily brighten the outdoors and your inner self. Double up the return on that landscape investment. Particularly the view from indoors. Pay attention to windows facing a quiet part of your property. And to the part of your home where you might be spending more time this year, the backyard.

The color white is magical in the dusky twilight; it tends to float. But most white flowers fade to brown: not so magical. So most of my designs will feature some variety of panicle hydrangea. The enchanted blossom transitions from chartreuse to white to shades of blush pink, rosé wine, fuchsia or pomegranate red. This flowering shrub tells an evolving color story as the seasons unfold. Starting now, months of exciting colors evolve from summer through autumn.

Panicle hydrangeas produce buckets of blooms. It’s very simple to quickly cut a few stems, share that bouquet and look like a hero, or at least a good friend. They adore our soils, tolerate our winters, and once established thrive on neglect. They are devoted. The shrubs grow to a variety of ultimate sizes and shapes. They’re hardy and easy to grow. They persevere. And they need no pesticides to do their thing. They are understanding.

panicle hydrangeas symbolize many good things in life. We can help you find the panicle hydrangea to suit your space. So you can smile every time you look outdoors.

Jim Sollecito is the first lifetime senior certified landscape professional in NYS. He operates Sollecito Landscaping Nursery in Syracuse. Contact him at 468-1142 or