• Tell Your Friends

My mother taught me never to boast. “No one wants to hear all of that,” she’d say. Well, Mom, look away, because I’m about to brag.

Everyone, look at my hydrangeas! Yes, they’re mine! If you know me, you know what a triumph this is. Finally, after years of heartache and struggle, I, Grant Dudley, have had hydrangea success!


The prettiest of all the blooms.


Yes, this is real. I didn’t doctor the photo.


New blooms are popping up daily!

I’ll tell you the truth, these plants are a sight for my sore eyes. I have been plagued with ugly, sickly and distressed hydrangeas for at least four years now.

“What made the difference this year?” you say. Well, I’m glad you asked.

Intervention. Yes, plain and simple intervention. This spring I stayed on top of the plants before they could take a nasty turn. I watered them faithfully (with a little vinegar here and there), pruned back the branches, pulled off questionable leaves and most importantly, treated the bushes with a fungicide (I now know a fungus has been the problem all along).

So, today, on this first day of summer, I proudly write here and say “Take that ugly hydrangeas!” There’s a new sheriff in town.

Have you ever turned a dud of a plant or flower into a blooming beauty? Let me know!

Oh, and I’m sorry Mom.



50 Responses

  1. Reuben says:

    They are beautiful. I want to try growing them here in Texas. ^_^

  2. CplusE says:

    When we first moved to our present home, there was a spindly, sickly-looking rose bush in front of the porch. I don't really care for roses, so I cut it down to the ground and figured that was that. Little did I know that this was exactly what it needed — in a couple of years it came back with a vengeance and flowered profusely! I've never cut it back so much again, and it has never done as well again either, although it still has a few blossoms every year, probably just to spite me.

  3. Bev Stewart says:

    You have the right to be proud. They're beautiful.

  4. Emily says:

    I love this! Garden flowers are the most beautiful things in the summertime. For my country getaway, we did a little gardening ourselves: emilyannestyle.com

  5. Joanne says:

    You should be boasting! They are beautiful! I love my hydrangeas too! I love to cut back, it works for me. Happy gardening!

  6. eJean1981 says:

    This was great to read. We have just had hydrangea bushes put in, and I'm glad to hear about how you took care of them. Wish us luck!

  7. Linda says:

    Thanks for the tips. My hydrangeas could use some help right now.

  8. [...] Hydrangea Pride + The Secret to My Success HGTV Design Happens Wed, June 20, 2012 9:38 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate Share (function(){var [...]

  9. Lynda Collins says:

    Hello Grant! Look your article about hydrangeas! You are soooo smart! I am a friend of Susan's. Are you Susan's son. If so, I am proud of you. You are a celebrity and have done so much good in your life. Keep it up…. Let me know if you are my long lost friend. Lynda Collins

  10. Daisy Elizondo says:

    Gracias por los consejos, amo estas plantas

Grant DudleyGrant is the editor-in-chief of Design Happens and digital programming manager of HGTV.com. Despite growing up begging his mom not to ever drag him to another antique store, today his...


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