Our front yard hydrangeas have never had a better year than this year. Full stop. They are covered with blooms. And those blooms are big and full. Leading to the WORST flopping that we've ever hard - even with the large Limelight Hydrangeas that have been the most productive over the years. First...the Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangeas. They are starting to 'turn' with pink showing up on the flowers - you can see one of them below: I've tracked this 'turning' over the years - in 2017 it started in July , in 2018 it was in September, same in 2019 and in 2022 (last year), I only documented them when they were in full color - October. This year it is late August when they're starting to add pink to the big, white mophead blooms. As for the flopping, it appears that the removal of the Norway Maple has changed so much up there and that I'll have to deal with them this Summer (trying to string them up) and that my pruning technique will have to change sta
Showing posts with the label vanilla strawberry hydrangea
I've continued to make progress on my #3 priority on the 2023 to-do list: the front porch bed . Most recently, it was planting of five very small (1 gallon) Green Velvet Boxwoods that run from the new Triumph Elm to the property line and (will) create some structure in the bed. Earlier this month, I laid out a bit of an overview of the plan up there - including what I wanted to plant. In that post , I listed the plant material required. Here's where it stands after the Boxwoods: 3 Disneyland Roses (planted) 4 Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grasses (have them, just need to transplant) 1 Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea 10-12 Ajuga Chocolate Chip 8 (or so) Summer Beauty Allium 4-5 Green Velvet Boxwoods (going to buy small) 8-10 Moor Grassses Flat or two of French Marigolds (Annuals) The next item on my list is solving for that Hydrangea. I have three Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangeas up there that have been doing...umm...just fine. One of them died, but the other ones haven't b
With the flip last week on Daylight Savings Time, it means that I now get a little bit of post-work garden time. It isn't dark when I close my laptop, so that's kinda nice. With the calendar being mid-March, I'm now trying to find garden tasks that I can take on while balancing the guidance of *not doing too much cleanup* too early. One of the tasks that I decided to do this past week was a look at some cleanup in the front yard - including pruning some of my hydrangeas. In past years, I have done what I'll call a 'light' pruning - lop'ing off the thin branching, but mostly leaving about 2/3rds of the shrub intact. After watching some YouTube videos and working up the courage to go at them pretty hard, I decided to give theses a harder prune this late Winter. First up, the pair of (larger) Limelight Hydrangeas on the side of our front porch. Here's what they look like right before pruning - all of the flower heads still attached (photo below) with
I planted a treeform Doublefile Viburnum shrub out front of our front porch in a row where I lost a Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea earlier this year . I also planted a few of these out back. But, this one - was probably out of place - but in a spot that was mixed sun/shade. And, in the shadow of the troubled Norway Maple tree in our front porch beds. I watered it in and watered all of the other things up there the same way. But, this treeform Viburnum went into decline pretty quickly and is now - officially - dead. I yanked it out recently. See below for the tree/shrub and the rootball that I removed: I've long talked about how it is SO hard to grow stuff under that Norway Maple tree. But with it gone, now? I'm hopeful that I can turn this area around. Starting with amending the soil with biosolids and composted manure . And cultivating the soil in this bed to enrich it even more this Winter (is my plan). I'm hopeful that the stump grinding of the old tree will f
As part of our initial startup landscaping installation, w e put in five Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangeas across the front of our house . Four in front of the porch - behind the inital boxwood row - and one over on the side of the garage - the corner where the garage meets the driveway and sideyard. I've posted about them over the years , but I don't think they've ever managed to reach their peak color-wise like they have this year. Or...rather...like the ONE by the garage has this year. The other four have all struggled. Because of the Norway Maple tree. Of the four, one of them has died. The Hydrangea by the garage? It is putting on quite a show: But, the blooms are falling over. One of my 2023 to-do items needs to be learning how to prune hydrangeas so they stand upright and stop flopping over . I also need to replace the one that died up front. With the tree being removed, the time is right bring these to their full potential.
Along with the Catalpa tree seeds/seedlings work and the transplanting of the Kentucky Coffee Tree seedlings into larger containers, I came across a video that talked about growing hydrangeas from cuttings. So...I figured....why not give it a try. The process is pretty easy. Find a shoot that is still green. Count down three pairs of leaves and give the shoot a cut. I then dipped the stem in rooting compound, trimmed all the leaves off - and even trimmed the remaining leaves in half - and stuck it in some potting mix. I'm trying this with two species: on the left below (the sad one) is Strawberry Vanilla Hydrangea. On the right is a Limelight Hydrangea. I stuck them in a couple of pots that I formerly had Kentucky Coffee tree seedlings that I had on hand: Below is a closer look at the Limelight. After I took this photo, I trimmed the top leaves in half to try to give the little cutting a bit less plant to try to support. I have concerns that I've taken on this pr
Our plan for the year called for a focus on shrubs . Shrubs in the backyard, mostly. But, also shrubs in the front yard. In my post outlining the list of shrubs that are called for in the plan, I mentioned needing to replace one of the Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangeas that are sitting in front of our front porch out front. It started to decline last year and despite watering, it withered and died last Summer. A couple of factors came in play (I'm pretty sure) that caused the hydrangea to die: the surface root mat from the Norway Maple tree outcompeting the hydrangea COUPLED with the hydrophobic mulch that was taking place and not allowing the watering that I *was* providing to get down to the rootball. I found four treeform Viburnum - Doublefile - at Menards and brought them home with the goal of adding them to our yard - mostly in the backyard. Our plan called for eight additional Viburnum (Arrowwood Chicago Lustre) around the border of our yard that would complement the
Six weeks ago, I posted a photo of part of our garden path on the northside of our house that we installed this Summer that featured a metal edge and a thick layer of Bluestone chips for the gravel. In that post (from early August), I showed a view from a concrete landing forward to the gate on our fence . The Bluestone garden path extends PAST the gate and (now) connects our driveway with our backyard. Or....mostly does. There's still another section to do that I think we're going to have to do in pavers with a retaining wall. But, I wanted to capture in the [ garden diary ] how the path works with the driveway. You can see below how I flared the edging out to make a wider birth and tapered it back to a 48" wide path as it makes the curve around that Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea. As I said back in August, this project wasn't on my 2021 to-do list , but it should have been. It was something that we NEEDED to get done and now gives me a bunch of opportunities t
I was walking around the front beds and - once again - I'm struck by how I've had not a lot of luck with anything I've planted underneath our large Norway Maple tree that sits right outside of our front porch. This large tree is in decline - likely due to the construction we had when we built our house in 2016 and 2017. I've tried to attack *that* problem by having the arborists from Davey apply a growth regulator and a liquid fertilizer last year. And, I'm hoping that the tree is on a path towards survival. They'll come back this year to apply a second year of fertilizer - that I'm pretty sure (based on these photos) is working . This year though, I lost a mature hydrangea - a Vanilla Strawberry (one of four out front) and my Lime Light Hydrangeas suffered some this year - and dropped a lot of their leaves in the middle of the Summer . Here, below, is a top-down photo showing the dead hydrangea (very bottom, middle) and the proximity to the Norway Ma
A couple of days ago, I posted a before/after photo of our Magnolia tree and the cocoa bean shell mulch that I added and mentioned that I had brought home just 10 bags of cocoa bean hull mulch from Lake Geneva. Today, you can see our front bed with the balance of the bags laid down. I was able to add mulch from the front of the bed to around and *just* behind the boxwoods. We have three Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangeas behind the boxwoods that I didn't have enough mulch in the bags to cover at this point. From this point of view - and down lower near the sidewalk, you can't see *behind* the boxwoods, so it kind of looks finished despite about 50% of the bed not being freshly mulched. When we go back up to Wisconsin in the coming weeks/months when we drive two cars, I'll head over to the Hull Farm and pick up ten more bags of the stuff to finish off the bed. On the far left of the photo, you can see one of the limestone blocks that I installed to create that '
This is the third season with a set of Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangeas that are planted outside of our front porch facing due East. Here is the post showing what the plants looked like in 2017 - the first season. And here's the post showing the pink color emerging in 2018 . This year the plants are (obviously) the largest, most mature that they have been and some of the blooms are quite large. Not Limelight or Incrediball large, but nice sized and cone-shaped. The past few early Springs, I have pruned these bushes and trimmed off some of the old growth to try to shape the plant a bit. And, now I'm wondering if - for shape purposes - that's not the best move to make? Reason I say that is that each of these hydrangeas have a TON of blooms down near the ground and like three or four huge, tall shoots each with a flower on top. But, they almost look like a plant with a fat base and a couple of limbs climbing out of a vase. I'm going to plan to NOT p
This is a look (and post in the [ garden diary ]) of our hydrangeas in the front yard. On the right side - under the front part of our porch are four Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangeas . On the left, are a pair of Annabelle Hydrangeas. There are also two Little Rocket Narrow Spiked Ligularia that are showing in the photo, too, but this post isn't about them. These hydrangea were planted at the same time and were the same size container. I also gave both a hard pruning early this Spring/late this winter to be *about* the same size. They were getting a bit 'leggy', so based on some guidance from fellow gardeners, I pruned them down to focus some of the growth into a more bush-like shrub. But, look at the growth on the two varieties. The Annabelle's are planted facing south. The Vanilla Strawberry ones are facing east - from the building. Meaning that as the sun moves across the day, the two on the left side stay in the sun most of the day while the four out fro