Pinky Winky Photos to Cheer Us in January

What better time to share my end-of-summer flower photography than in the freezing cold month of January?  I began this post back in September but got side-tracked.  So now I can post my photos of one of my favorite flowers.

I happen to love the bloom of the Pinky Winky shrub. The flower is so interesting with it’s combination of open and closed petals in colors that range from dark pink to white. The cone shape grows longer and longer as the coloring changes.

This perennial has consistently created the most blooms of all the types I grow. We’ve had a bit of a drought here in the northeastern US over the summer, but the plant never wilts. Bees love the flowers of the Pinky Winky too. For this reason it might be best planted away from sitting areas. I don’t mind bees, but some people like to avoid being near them. I feel good having such a lovely bee-feeder in my yard.

pink hydrangea
Pinky Winky Flower

I had a tree fall and get stuck up in neighboring trees and I had to have it taken down for safety reasons. It was near my driveway, and when the guys cut it and pulled it down, it landed partially on my Pinky Winky! A branch broke off, and a few flowers, but otherwise the perennial survived. This poor plant always seems to be in the wrong place.
hydrangea paniculata pinky winky
Now that summer is behind us and we’re in the midst of winter, it’s nice to be reminded of what waits for us in spring. Seeing the first green stems burst through the ground, and early flowering plants like the Lenton Rose, remind us of the big hydrangea blooms to come.

pink hydrangea macro

Pictures of My Hydrangea Plants 2015

hydangeas in pots
Newly purchased hydrangeas in pots

In 2011 I bought a house and began to fill the yard with perennials.  I had a lot of cleaning up to do, as the gardens were pretty ugly – but not as ugly as the house!  In between fixing up the inside of my home, I spent time beautifying my new yard.

That first summer was spent clearing away old growth and garden edging, but in Spring 2012 I was ready to buy some perennials, and one of the first shrubs I wanted was the hydrangea.

It is now 2015, just three short years later, and I thought I’d share pictures of those plants, and their offspring (propagated plants). I also want to post an update to acknowledge my favorites, problems, etc. to share with readers.

First, the Blushing Bride, hydrangea macrophylla. The pictures below were all taken in August, 2015. The first is the original shrub I bought from a local nursery. The next two are pictures of the two I propagated from the original. I planted them last year, and as you can see, they are almost as large as the original. In fact, one of the ‘babies’ is blooming, and the others are not.
These are beautiful shrubs, with large green leaves, and I highly recommend this perennial for the yard.

hydrangea perennial
Blushing Bride – original shrub
white flowering hydrangea
Blushing Bride propagated plant
hydrangea shrub
Blushing Bride baby #2 – no blooms this year

The blue-flowering hydrangea, ‘Endless Summer’ is pictured here. It’s not flowering much this year, but I blame the bad winter. There are two small flowers at the bottom. I think in time, as it ages, this will be a more beautiful shrub. I also cut down a larger bush that was preventing it from getting sun. That may help with blooms next year.

blue hydrangea shrub
Endless Summer

Please see my next post and read my review, with pictures, of two more hydrangeas, the paniculatas – the Pinky Winky and Limelight – which have elongated blooms.

Hydrangeas in My Yard: The Paniculatas

My last post was about the macrophylla varieties of hydrangeas growing in my yard. Those have big, rounded blooms and large leaves. This post contains pictures of my two types of paniculatas, which are hydrangeas with elongated type flowers.

In general I have found the paniculatas to be very easy to care for. They seldom droop in a drought, as the macrophyllas (Blushing Bride and Endless Summer) wilt quite easily in hot sun, and when they are dry.

The first photo is of the Limelight hydrangea. It was taken in August 2015, and as you can see it is not flowering, but it does have buds. The second photo is from last year at approximately the same time.  As you can see, this year I will not get the blooms like last year.  Again, I blame this on our incredibly horrible winter.  The extreme cold and piles of snow have done a number on just about everything in my yard.   Some of my Hostas never grew back, and the perennials I thought had died, are still living, but they are way behind on growth, like the hydrangeas.

limelight hydrangea shrub
Limelight Hydrangea – Aug. 10th, 2015
flowering limelight hydrangea
Limelight Hydrangea – August 20th, 2014

The last picture I have is of the Pinky Winky hydrangea. I have come to love this plant for it’s beautiful, long-lasting blooms. It is also a very easy plant to grow. Plant it and forget it.
pinky winky hydrangea
Unfortunately, I could have chosen a better spot for this one to grow. Without a lot of yard space, I thought it would have plenty of room to expand next to the garage. Then the snow came and my plow guy pushed loads of snow over the poor thing. It came back and grew fine.
This year I had to have a broken tree taken down, and as the tree-cutters brought the big beech down, the branches landed on my Pinky Winky. It was enough to break one of the main, low branches. I will have to cut it, as it’s split. I want to wait until the blooms go by.

Pinky Winky 8/20/14
One year ago – Pinky Winky, August 20th, 2014

The only problem I have with this one is that the deer eat it – see how lopsided it is in the photo above?  There is a big deer population around my house and they come up from the woods at the side of the house to check the yard for dinner.  After they munch on my rhododendron, they chew down the stalks of the hydrangea. It’s the only hydrangea they eat, and I think it’s placed just right (or wrong).
So between the broken branches and deer trimming, I may not get to see this perennial grow too large before I move, but it’s still beautiful.

This is the only hydrangea that doesn’t seem to have been bothered as much by the extremely cold winter.  I would love to have more Pinky Winky hydrangeas in my yard.

Pictures of Pansies

pictures of pansies white
White Pansies by kapa65 at Pixabay

One of the favorite cool weather flowers is the little pansy.  The pansy is hardy and easy to care for.  In spring they are in all the local stores and are sold like made.  Everyone is ready to brighten their lives with some color after a cold gray winter.  Pansies come in hanging baskets, urns, peat pots, and arrangements.  They are presented just about every way possible.

Many pansies are purple.  And many have purple petals mixed with other colors.  But these happy face flowers come in yellow, orange, white, lavender and red, and combinations of all those colors, as you can see by the pictures of pansies below.

yellow and purple pansy
Photo by ckindschuh at Pixabay

purple and orange pansies

pansy red pansies
Photo by bineshab at Pixabay
pale pink peach pansy
Pale Pink Pansy by Shirley at Pixabay
lavender blue violet pansy
Potted Purple Pansies by cocoparisienne at Pixabay
orange pansies pansy
Orange pansies by bykst at Pixabay
white purple pansy flower
White with Purple by wmope at Pixabay

All these pansy photos are free for use and can be found at the Pixabay site. Many thanks to the photographers for capturing the beauty and variety of these little flowers.