Thursday, August 6, 2015

Summer Beauty and Blooms

The Dog Days have arrived, the sultry hot/humid days that can easily wilt
any of us. We have no say over the upper airway patterns that control our
weather so we adjust and try to stay comfortable. Gardeners like to work in
the morning when everything still has a freshness. Our energy level is high,
we've scoped out our surroundings and move forward with the day. Our
pace is whatever we make it to be. August is summer personified… taking
a bike ride, going to the pool, having ice tea and lemonade, a cold beer, a
grill out, just lazing' about trying to stay cool. We won't complain too much,
we know what's ahead. So yes bare feet, cold watermelon... snow-cones for
every-one. Ron and I will head for the rocking chairs on the front porch
about eight (if no mosquitoes) and wave to the neighbors as they pass by...
yes it's summer thyme… 

Limelight Hydrangea

A beautiful midsummer flowering deciduous shrub, this hydrangea is tall
as it is wide, 6-8 ft. It thrives in full sun which is the main reason I bought
2 of them. They face south/southwest. The blooms elongated, green at the
top as they open, going to white, and then assume some pink hints as they
age. You can cut them for display but I haven't tried drying them. They
bloom on new wood so you can prune in late winter or early spring. I
actually pruned them last year late fall after a first frost. I have not
noticed any leaf diseases thus far, which is nice considering the rain we
have had. Fertilize twice about April and June with an all purpose fertilizer.
With all my hydrangeas, I use an acid-type fertilizer. There is also a smaller
compact version that grows only 3-5 feet, but has the same size flowers.
I wish now I had purchased that variety 'Little Lime'. Next picture you
will notice I really got carried away with some bloom cutting.  It's become
tree-like. Oh my! Not to worry. This actually can be done with this variety.

I want to share another variety of hydrangea, the 'Vanilla Strawberry' which
is an amazing plant. I think it has a wonderful very light creamy vanilla type
scent that I "pick" up every time I smell the flower. But it's not associated
with a scent so don't expect one. It's cone shaped, starting out white then
matures to a rich strawberry-pink color, like an ice cream cone. The stems
will also turn red. The blooms will form continuously all summer. You can
cut for display as well. They also bloom on new wood, so prune in late
winter or early spring. I've had this plant for 3 years and haven't had any
disease issues with it or any serious insect infestations. It's a favorite.

It's thyme for a new word :
In plant speak, to shed leaves annually. The plant is going into hibernation
phase and will return in warm weather, using its energy for growth. Trees
and some shrubs fall under this definition.

Thanks for stopping by

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