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Posts Tagged ‘hydrangeas’

Limelight Hydrangeas and Japanese Anemone – How To Grow Perennials, When to Plant & How To Use In Landscape Gardens

Shady flower bed

Dogwood, Japanese Anemonies, Limelight Hydrangeas, Lamium and Sweet Woodruff by front porch.

When we bought our house a couple of years ago there was a small varigated Dogwood Tree beside the front porch with Sweet Woodruff and Lamium growing thickly under it. Late in the summer some pretty foliage started coming up. It only grew to be about a foot high and since I didn’t know what it was I just let it grow there. Since the foliage was so pretty and was coming up in little sprigs all through the Lamium I decided to move some of it around the yard. Most of these sprigs soon looked dead and I regretted moving them.

Since the Lamium is a low grower I planted Limelight Hydrangeas in front of the Dogwood. In September the little plant I didn’t recognize began to bloom and were beautiful. Well the next year those little plants, which I finally identified as Japanese Anemonies, grew huge and practically covered up the Hydrangeas.

The ones I had moved the year before had been just playing possum and they began to grow too. Now I’ve moved sprigs all over the garden. It’s a beautiful plant and still tries to outgrow the Hydrangeas but I’ve decided it’s survival of the fittest because I don’t want to move either of them. That next year too there were pink ones where there had just been white ones the first year. By the way, there is a Hydrangea behind that mass of white blooms.

I’ve since learned that they can be considered invasive but they are such a hardy plant and so pretty and best of all bloom in the fall when

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Perennial garden in back yard

almost everything else is finished up. I hope they invade my whole garden. Maybe I’d better be careful what I wish for.

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by Eliza Osborn

Hydrangeas – Easy To Grow And Beautiful

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Hydrangeas

Even though Hydrangeas are old plants, found in the gardens of our grandparents, they are getting more and more popular in the gardens of today.

If you’re in the process of designing your garden, or needing a plant to fill in an empty spot, have a look at the beautiful, flowering shrubs, Hydrangeas. They are easy to grow, long lived and gorgeous.

All Hydrangeas are not the same. The one most people think of when “hydrangeas” are mentioned, are the mopheads or Hydrangea macrophylla. These have huge clusters of blooms that are formed into a large, tight cluster and are usually pink or blue. These are the ones that can have their color changed by changing the PH of the soil. They can even be lavender and all three colors can be on one bush at the same time.

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Lacecap Hydrangeas

Then there are the “lacecap” Hydrangeas, which have a tight cluster of blooms with loose clusters of blooms circling them. There are Oakleaf Hydrangeas with white blooms, whose large leaves are in the shape of oak leaves. The blossoms on these have a much looser form. The foliage is as much of an asset in the garden as the blooms.

There are Hydrangeas with cone shaped flower clusters and these are Hydrangea paniculatas. One of my favorite Hydrangeas is Limelight, and it is a paniculata. The blooms are chartreuse (pale, lime yellow-green) and as the temperatures cool in the fall, the blossoms turn pink and then burgundy. All hydrangeas can be easily cut and dried for arrangements, but these are really special because the color they are when you cut them is the color they will stay.

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Limelight Hydrangeas and White and Purple Japanese Anemones

Hydrangeas require little care. They like soil enriched with good compost but can tolerate sandy soil, medium moisture and partial shade. They do need some sunshine or they either won’t bloom, or won’t have the prolific number of blooms they are known for. Some varieties even thrive in full sunshine. In hotter climates they can require more water.

They don’t need pruning, except to remove spent blossoms. They bloom from mid-summer through fall. Fertilizers that are high in nitrogen can cause the plants to have vigorous foliage growth with few blooms. Since Hydrangeas bloom on old wood, pruning isn’t recommended. If pruning is needed to control the size of the plant, do the pruning immediately after blooming.

They grow in zones 5-9. They can be anywhere from 3′ to 6′ tall. Do some research and see which ones appeal to you and which ones will fit into your garden. You won’t be disappointed.

Hardy Kiwi Vine…or In Other Words…Actinidia kolomikta

 

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Kiwi Vine and Limelight Hydrangeas,

The hardy kiwi is an exciting vine to have growing in your garden that many people are unaware of. It is a robust vine that can reach 25′ long. The foliage is beautiful, with splashes of cream and pink. The first few years the foliage will be green, until the plant is well established.

It has tiny little blooms in the early summer, but then, after a few years, it will produce kiwi. Not the large, fuzzy variety, but smaller and smooth. They are supposed to be very sweet and the skin is eaten as well, so they don’t have to be peeled.

Our kiwi vines (you need to have a male and female vine to get the kiwi fruit) are planted on one end of our large grape arbor. They are 3 years old and are looking pretty established to me. I’m hoping that this year will be the year we not only see the pink on the foliage, but also some fruit on the vine.

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Hardy Kiwi Vine

As you go through the garden catalogs, planning you garden for next summer, have a look at the kiwi vine (Actinidia kolomikta) It’s available at a lot of the nurseries.

A few facts:

It’s hardy in Zones 5-8¬† (Find your zone http://wp.me/P1OXDF-oK )

It can reach 25′ long

It likes well drained, moist soil

It needs partial to full sun

It’s deciduous and blooms in early summer

It’s a long lived plant

 

Shady Spaces in the Garden

 

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Hosta bed with 6 varieties of Hostas

Like a lot of others, we have a yard that has a combination of very sunny to very shady areas. The sunny areas are easy because so many plants do so well and have to have full days of sunshine. The challenge is finding plants that not only will tolerate the shade but will thrive and bloom in it.

Some shade loving plants are Astilbe, Ferns, Hydrangeas, Japanese Anemones, Bleeding Hearts, Rhododendrons, Pulmonaria, Lamium, Hostas and Japanese Maples. Then there are annuals like Tuberous Begonias and Impatiens that bloom in the shade. All of these plants are wonderful and we have almost all of them in our garden but I’m going to just focus on Hostas and their big, leathery leaves. Hosta foliage ranges from amazing blues through some of the most beautiful greens, all the way to yellow/green. Grown mostly for their beautiful foliage, they also bloom on tall stalks, some even have fragrant blooms.

Hostas vary in size from very large to pretty small so there is one for about any space available in the shady garden. A lot of people love these plants, but so do snails and slugs. The pests are easy to spot and pick off or just  put out bait for them. Left alone though, they can turn hosta leaves into Swiss cheese.

Hostas like a moist (not wet), well drained soil and can take a few hours of sun, (morning being better than afternoon).

We have about 12 different varieties in our garden but my 2 favorites are Blue Angel, which is a giant, blue hosta, and Guacamole, which is a bright, beautiful shade of green and works well in darker areas to brighten them up.

Now is the time to plant hostas so they will be all ready to come up in the spring. Like any perennials, they will continue to get bigger and bigger and more beautiful each year.

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by Eliza Osborn

How To Grow Tulips and Daffodils In Your Landscape Garden

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Growing Darwin Tulips

Last year for my birthday (August) I wanted and got tulip and daffodil bulbs. I knew I wouldn’t get to enjoy them for a long time but I’d never planted bulbs before and I wanted to try it. I had so much fun visiting the garden sites and picking out just the right colors and heights. I wanted to mass them in four separate beds, two in the front and two in the back yard. So I waited for the bulbs to arrive and began to prepare the beds. I learned that you can plant them one at a time with one of those tools that look like a can with a handle on the end but since I was planting so many (300 tulips and 50 daffodils) I decided to dig the bed out and then I could place them just right.

Our spring was very late this year, actually we almost didn’t have one. It was almost like winter went right into summer since we got our last snow on Memorial day. But the bulbs were growing and soon leaf tips popped up out of the ground. It was so exciting watching them grow and since they are Darwins they got pretty big before they began to set their buds. I put the one little stand of daffodils outside the picket fence in the front and half the tulips in the back and half in the side yard where I could see them from my kitchen window.

They were covered with huge buds and I couldn’t wait for them to open. I was feeling pretty lucky since there is a herd of deer that lives near us and are notorious foragers in late spring, especially¬† after such a severe winter. The deer eat the leaves as soon as they break the ground and keep them mowed down pretty well after that. Most of my friends had lost most of their tulips already but here were my big giant buds ready to open. Every morning I would check to see if they’d opened yet.

Then it happened to MY tulips. All of the leaves and stems were intact but there weren’t any buds left. I ran to check the ones in the back yard and since the back yard is surrounded by a 6′ privacy fence I guess they decided to pass on those. One of my friends who had lost all of hers early on had a gorgeous stand of tulips. After cropping hers a few times they left them alone to grow.

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Tulips which lasted such a long time. It was worth the wait.

But on the bright side, the plants didn’t have to produce blooms this year and so I theorize that next year the show should

be spectacular.

As most of you probably know, I didn’t, that deer won’t touch daffodils and you’re supposed to inter-plant them. Who knew.

Anyway, here are some pictures of my surviving tulips. They were so beautiful for such a long time so Happy Birthday to me.

By the way, it’s about time to put more bulbs in. I’m hooked on these beauties.

 

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A birthday present worth waiting 8 months for.

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by Eliza Osborn

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