The winters can be long in Minnesota. When summertime rolls around, gardeners relish the color that bursts forth under the warm sunshine. Blooms on some plants that continue unabated until the cold north wind blows is certainly a plus.
With all this celebrating of summer in the state, it’s no wonder that Mickman Brothers in Ham Lake, Mn., conducts a special weekend to revel in the beauty of the timeless hydrangea.
Some of the hydrangeas are supplied to Mickman by Bailey Nurseries.
“The plants are so fabulous that we have a yearly Hydrangea Festival on the first weekend of August, with sales, seminars, refreshments and door prizes,” says Meg McLean, Mickman Brothers Garden Center manager. “We can count on Bailey to deliver orders of hydrangeas at their peak, which results in terrific weekend sales.”
The garden center has been purchasing hydrangeas for more than 17 years. In 2004 when Bailey Nurseries rolled out the Endless Summer hydrangeas, Mickman Brothers committed to 6,000 plants and sold 4,000, she says.
Bailey Nurseries’ introduction of the first Endless Summer hydrangea was a pivotal moment for the grower, and has been followed by three more introductions.
The Original is a mophead type hydrangea with the ability to rebloom from spring through fall. The plant provides flowers up to 8 inches in diameter, and sends out pink blooms in alkaline soils and blue blooms in acidic soil. Because The Original blooms on new wood, removal of spent flowers encourages rebloom. Blushing Bride produces large round clusters of pure white, semi-double florets, which mature to blush pink or Carolina blue, depending on soil pH. Twist-n-Shout is a lacecap style with deep pink or periwinkle blue flowers, depending on soil pH, and features vivid red stems. BloomStruck, the newest addition to the Endless Summer collection, offers vivid rose-pink or purple flowers, depending on the soil pH.
“We go to Bailey Nurseries for quality, quality, quality. Our spring order always looks good, and by the middle of July to the first of August they look fabulous,” McLean says.
“The displays draw our customers in, and our staff members are able to discuss and suggest what hydrangeas will work best in their landscape, gardens and containers.”
McLean says the tags and POP material that accompanies the Bailey Nurseries hydrangeas provide her staff and the end-consumer with an abundance of helpful information.
“We are able to answer most questions of our customers by the information on the tag. This is a great benefit to us to be able to educate our customers and send them home with information to help their plants thrive,” she says.
Obviously, customer satisfaction is key.
“We have been thanked many times over for helping our customers understand what will work best in their landscape and gardens. Gaining that trust is important to us to build loyal return customers,” she adds.