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. :)
we are to ask, seek, knock...
but many times
we get a stone instead of bread,
a serpent instead of a fish,
a scorpion instead of an egg.
many, many times,
it's the stone,
that brings to us the very thing we asked for!
We ask for restored relationships,
then God sends a seemingly impossible situation.
We ask for patience,
and God gives us enormously trying events.
We ask for more faith,
and our faith is tried to the utmost!
You get the picture -
our character is built on hard stuff,
not the easy fluff that is empty and useless!
There's lots and lots of kinds of hydrangeas - I have only six different kinds. They keep coming up with new ones...some that I would love to have! The more recent ones bloom on old and new wood and are touted as being able to handle the sun. But my opinion is that they do better protected from afternoon sun (just sayin! :) Some can be trimmed back all the way to the ground, others not. Some defy all my theories and experience and still bloom or don't bloom! :)
The hydrangea I'm posting today came from a rental property and got transplanted here. It has a loosely, clustered white flower that begins with chartreuse colored buds, opening into white and goes back to chartreuse again. It blooms all summer long and makes gorgeous bouquets. It also dries beautifully...simply place them where you want them and they'll last til the next season. They are brittle and if bumped, make a mess. The only info I found on them is they're named as a Grandiflora. This picture shows several colors of the flower.
They're very easy care plants with very little maintenance. I used to let them up for 'winter interest' but several years ago I cut them back in the fall and like that a lot better....if left uncut, the flower heads break off and fly around the yard all winter. Leaving them uncut til after frost, they'll turn brown and make lovely, lovely window box/flowerpot fillers for Christmas/winter. I've already cut mine back and thus avoided the mooshy leaf mess left behind after frost.
Several before/after pictures of a fall cleanup.
This summer was so warm and dry even these were gasping for water. As you can see, the leaves turned brown and ugly and I was happy to cut them back! I put the stems on a pile at the 'back forty' and will burn them when they've dried up a bit. These take too long to compost unless they're run through a chopper of some kind.
It's been a while...but here I am again! Today was an absolutely gorgeous day, so I spent six hours cleaning up, transplanting and eliminating a few plants. Happy sigh and aching muscles! :) If anyone is interested in deep purple day lilies and blazing star bulbs, give me a shout out. I'm posting a few pictures of my work and will post more on this subject later.
After six to eight inches of rain it has recovered wonderfully!
My lovely lime lights suffered from the dry heat
and look like this...
instead of like this.
(picture from last summer)
I'll let the sedum stand until frost kills them then possibly use the flower heads to decorate for outdoor Christmas decor. I used to let them up all winter but discovered I like the beds better without.