A Blooming Orchid and Hydrangea Update

The other day we had a massive storm, with a tornado touchdown just west of where we live. It brought 4.5 inches of water, which filled the drainage ditches and low-lying areas. In Florida, rainwater seeps away into the ground fairly quick and we can handle that amount of rain.

As I was picking up overturned plants and inspecting my gardens, I discovered that my old orchid plant had a stem full of buds! I have two orchid plants that sit outside in the shade of a bigger shrub. Orchids appreciate the humidity, but don’t like direct sunlight. That is the extent of my orchid knowledge, and I moved them outdoors where they can get what they need.

blooming orchid with pink flower
Finally – blooming again

This orchid was a gift from my daughter many years ago when she was a little girl. I’ve kept it, and traveled all over New Hampshire with it in all my moves. Now I (and it) are back in Florida, and the plant seems to be happier. I can’t remember when it bloomed last.

Just behind where the orchid sits in the garden is my hydrangea! It has really grown, but there are no flowers. See my first hydrangea photos here. It remained quite small for a while, but now it is taking off. Maybe the roots have taken hold, and the fertilizer has kicked in.

Florida outdoor hydrangea shrub
Florida outdoor hydrangea shrub

Did you notice my little croton starter plants in the photo above? I have four across the front of the garden (three in the photo). I rooted them from cuttings.

The wind blew the banana tree over a bit so now the bunch of bananas growing is reachable.

banana tree with bunch of bananas
Drooping bunch of bananas

Flowers Blooming in August in My New Hampshire Yard

tall phlox in pink
Pink Phlox

As summer is winding down, I am taking stock of the flowers in my yard that are blooming in August.  In fall, here in New England the tall phlox are looking lovely.  In my yard, dark and light pink blossoms brighten the landscape. I also have creeping phlox which blooms in Spring.

As for perennials, the Hostas are also blooming, the few I have that are growing well.  Some of them died due to the cold winter.

Hydrangeas:  The Pinky Winky shrub is full of white flowers, which will be turning pink sometime in the future.  The white Blushing Bride in the backyard has three big, white blooms, with a small bud just beginning.  Out front, the blue Endless Summer has only two small flowers, and one little bud.  The blue flowers are fading to light purple.  Click the link above to see recent pictures of my hydrangea shrubs.

Black-Eyed Susans are blooming everywhere.  They seem to be the brightest yellow flowers in yards right now.  I have two small plants, which I tend to forget about until August.

black eyed susan flower
Black-eyed Susan

Day Lilies are also still flowering.  I have 8 or 10 plants with peach colored flowers along the front.  All those plants came from one, single pot of day lilies I bought three years ago.  I divided the stalks, planted them, and then divided them again.  Lilies should be divided every so often.  My yellow Stella d’oro lilies have gone by.

The annuals I plant each spring – Nasturtiums and Impatiens – are looking wonderful in August.  This year I planted the seeds from last year’s ‘Alaska’ nasturtium, and ended up with a beautiful and colorful border along the backyard.  All that color for free!  I love it.  Soon I’ll collect the seeds from these, and plant more next spring.

flowers of fall
Nasturtiums and Marigolds (and Skittle the Cat)

The marigolds are big and full, and still sending out new flowers.  Marigolds bloom more if they are dead-headed.

I have a volunteer Queen Annes Lace that is still blooming too.  I love these beautiful “weeds” with the big lacy flowers.  If they should happen to grow in your yard, I suggest you leave them alone and let them bloom where they grow.  Hopefully it will spread so I’ll have more of it next year.

Queen Annes Lace
Queen Annes Lace – A beautiful “weed”

The blue hydrangeas are turning pretty colors as Fall approaches here in New Hampshire. The petals begin to take on a pink, purple, and sometimes green, tint. It’s always fun to see how the flowers will fade.

blue hydrangea in fall
Blue Hydrangea Changing Color in Fall

I’m a Little Concerned – Where Are the Flowers?

white peony flower buds
White Peony

As i travel around the neighborhood and general area where I live, I see hydrangeas already in bloom.  Just down the road I found a huge Pinky Winky “tree” which is covered in blooms.  (I must get a photo)  But my Pinky Winky is not blooming at all.  Not even any buds are showing.  The mopheads have blooms just beginning, but the limelight is also without buds.

So what does this mean?  Usually hydrangeas bloom in July here, so there is still time.  I do have a lot of shade around this place, so it might be what’s keeping them from budding.  I hope not, because I have little choice but to grow them where they are.  Besides, I won’t be digging them up!

My peonies are just opening too, whereas just down the road the peonies are in full bloom.  I’m very happy with all the buds on them this year.   But, how can the fact that I live just up the hill provide such a blooming contrast?  I’ll wait and see what happens.  What else is there to do?

Limelight: A Beautifully Named Hydrangea

budding limelight hydrangea flower
New Flower on the Limelight

I’ve never grown the Limelight hydrangea nor been around any of the shrubs. I purchased two of this type bush in Spring this year and planted them in front of my house.

Figuring that they would need this summer to grow good roots and become hardy, I didn’t expect flowers, so what a nice surprise to see them begin budding!
Sure enough, more and more little round petals began to form and now both bushes are filled with the elongated, lacey looking flowers. I expect that as the flowers age they will become more green. I am very happy with these healthy looking plants. I highly recommend the Limelight hydrangea as a perennial planting for your yard.

white limelight hydrangea flowers
Lacey white Limelight flowers