Endless Summer Goes From Blue to Lavender, Pink or Green

lavender hydrangea flower
This flower bloomed blue then faded to lavender

My beautiful blue Endless Summer hydrangea flower turned to light lavender as last season progressed. Sometimes the blues turn pink, or even green. It’s what makes growing hydrangeas so exciting, the fact that flowers will start out one color and turn to something completely different.

I love this gorgeous light purple flower. The newly planted shrub is not very large and last year it had only about 5 or 6 blooms. The heavy weight of the flowers on the smaller stems weighed them down, but each year the plant will do better.

Right now it’s too early to see much happening with my hydrangea bushes. I keep coming across pictures I took last summer and fall, so I’ll have to share those for the time being.

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Endless Summer that has turned light green in Fall
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A blue flower drying on the stem in Autumn turns all kinds of gorgeous colors

I won’t be buying any more new plants, as I am currently on a very tight budget, but I plan to propagate hydrangeas from the plants I already have.

Propagating from the endless summer and mop-head varieties is easy, but it takes time and some planning.  Some people start plants from cuttings, but I have not had luck with that.

What Will I Find Beneath All That Snow?

snow plowed driveway
We have a lot of snow

I am a little worried about my hydrangeas. When I planted my babies last Spring I had to take a lot into consideration. Will they get enough sun, too much sun, and was the spot I chose enough room for them to grow to their potential. I also had to consider the snow plowing.
Well, last winter was a strange one for us, and much of the U.S. when we had very little snow. I had just moved into a new home and that winter really told me nothing about conditions and snow piles that would occur in a normal year. So I had to guess.
I put the Pinky Winky hydrangea at the edge of the garage. The one big storm we had meant that I had one big snowstorm in October and the snow was easily pushed to the grass out of the way. I thought the plant would be safe in the spot I chose. Now, I am not so sure.
As you can see in my picture, there is quite a bit of snow that has been pushed up into the spot – very close to where my hydrangea is sitting, buried in many feet of snow. Each time the plow comes that whole pile is slammed into with the truck, trying to get it out of the driveway.
If the bush survives this winter, I think it will be okay because I am planning to get a snow-blower for the following years. My small, downward sloping driveway doesn’t give the plow guys much to work with and I can’t even use the right side of my garage at this point.
I just hope the Pinky Winky won’t be broken.

Pinky winky
my Pinky Winky

Buying Is Fun, Planting – Not So Much!

hydrangeas in pots
Newly purchased hydrangeas in pots

Going to the nursery and buying new plants for the yard is such fun. I love to imagine them each growing large and gloriously enhancing my landscape. But once I’m home and the work of digging and getting them into the ground begins, I’m not having as much fun.

Finding the right spot for them is the first obstacle to overcome. Some of them, in fact most of them, like sun with some shade. The blue “Endless Summer”, white “Blushing Bride“, the “Limelight” (I bought two), and the “Pinky Winky” all need to get some sun, but the “Pee Gee” wants shade.

Also, the full grown size of these plants needs to be considered. Hydrangeas don’t really need to be trimmed, so I want to give them all the space they need to look natural in their settings.

While I am considering all these things and watching my yard for the sunny spots, the plants sit in their pots. Each day they must be watered. Plants in pots dry out very fast. Then a freeze was predicted and I brought them all inside the garage for the night. I wouldn’t have worried had they been planted in the ground, but being in pots makes them more fragile.

I know they want out! And they will do some nice growing once they are in the ground. This weekend the weather in my part of New England will be fabulous, so I plan to get the planting underway.  After all, adding perennials to the yard is a wonderful and lasting gift you can give yourself.

Heading Into Fall and Not Doing Much Planting

Extinct?
Image by Chiot's Run via Flickr

The New England Fall season brings us a new set of circumstances to deal with and probably not many people are thinking about planting anything.  They are thinking about chopping, splitting and lugging firewood and maybe buying a new or used wood stove.  They are concentrating, like I am, on the cold season that is coming all too soon.

Fall is a great time to plant perennials and get them established before snow to bring beauty to the landscape the following year.  I have mail-ordered some hydrangeas and other things – I can’t even remember what – that should be showing up on my doorstep any day now.  Or maybe it’s October that they ship?  The problem with mail-order is that I tend to forget.  I have too many other things to worry about and when the arrive I will worry about planting them.  I have the bonemeal, a shovel, work gloves and spots selected in the yard, so I am ready.  I think.  As long as they arrive in decent weather.

In the mean time, I will be waiting for my wood delivery to arrive and after the new wood stove is broken in (I have to do a couple of low temperature burns) I’ll be getting my wood organized before it’s covered with snow.  Then it will be time to rake the abundance of leaves that will surely cover my yard.

I enjoy Fall tremendously, but it’s a busy time.  For me, it’s the whirlwind before the calm.  Once the snow falls, it seems that things calm down and people stay inside as much as possible unless they ski or drive a snow plow.  Winter brings it’s own chores that are not nearly as enjoyable and there will be no planting going on then.