Tuesday, October 26, 2010

hydrangeas, continued

I bought this hydrangea years ago at a nursery 'yard sale.' It looked pitiful but I knew under my 'tender, loving care,' it would look much better the next year. :)
By the time we moved here six years ago, I was able to get five plants out of the two I had bought. But like Pippy Longstocking, they just grew and grew! Several years ago DIL M graciously took them off my hands and, WOW!, were they ever gaw-gee-ious!
I almost, AL-MOST, took 'em back! :) And that's one of the funny things about these kind of
hydrangeas...they are blue or pink according to the type of soil they're planted in...alkaline (sweet) gives pink flowers - acid gives blue flowers. So one shrub can be pink/blue or any thing in between. If you want pink flowers, treat 'em with lime in the spring - if you want blue, treat 'em with aluminum sulfate. Son L had some that were a fabulous deep, deep purple...he moved them, and sure enough, they turned a different color.
They make beautifully dried plants that can be clipped and taken inside. Wait to harvest as close as you can before the first frost and position 'em where you want them. I usually de-bug them before I place them in the house to get rid of the spiders that hide inside the bloom.

This kind of hydrangea does not get trimmed back at all because they produce buds for the following years bloom. I wait until the end of May to trim the dead stuff off  - by then, one can see what is growing and what is not.

I L.O.V.E. me my Lime Lights! They certainly live up to their description, plus! They grow fast, bloom like mad and are a conversation piece. This year they really suffered from the hot, dry summer and look like this...
...instead of this.
(last summer's bloom)

Aren't the gorgeous? I kid you not...there were 8x12" single cluster bloom after bloom! After the first killing frost I merely snap the blooms off  and put 'em on the burn pile - the shrub looks much cleaner that way. They can also be used in outdoor decorations.

Last year I used them this way for Christmas at the front door...
I placed a four-foot garden trellis in a pot, filled the trellis up inside with the dried lime light flower heads, twined a fifty light strand of lights around it and poked rose hips here and there, then twined a woody vine around the bottom. It really was lovely! The birds thought so to as they kept eating the hips. :)

...happy gardening!


1 comment:


Oh, you'll have to give me some hydrangea advice.
Mine never bloomed this year. My tree peegees were beautiful, but no blooms from the ground plants.
~ Julie

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