HYDRANGEA – SUMMER OF THEIR DISCONTENT

Hydrangeas in happier days.

FOR  A LONG TIME I’VE KNOWN THAT THE HYDRANGEAS IN MY FRONT YARD ARE IN WAY TOO MUCH  SUN.

YOU MAY RECALL THAT ORIGINALLY THERE WAS SHADE PROVIDED BY A PINE TREE…THAT DIED.

NOW WE ARE IN THAT IN-BETWEEN TIME

WAITING FOR THE REPLACEMENT TREES TO GROW.

AND FOR THE FIRST FEW YEARS IT WAS OK

BUT LAST YEAR AND AGAIN THIS YEAR WE’RE EXPERIENCING

HOW SHALL I PUT THIS

HEAT

AND LOTS OF IT.

SUNSHINE IN ABUNDANCE – WHICH I LOVE

BUT THIS IS A BIT EXTREME.

MY FRONT HYDRANGEAS ARE NOT GOING TO DIE

BUT THEY ARE DEFINITELY NOT HAPPY.

A sadder version

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE DRIP SYSTEM THAT WE HAVE PUT IT.

I’VE MENTIONED IT BEFORE BUT YOU MAY BE MORE INTERESTEDAT THIS POINT. 

WWW.DRIPWORKS.COM IS THE ANSWER TO THIS KIND OF WEATHER.

IN A NORMAL YEAR I TURN IT ON ONCE A WEEK.

NOW IT’S MORE LIKE EVERY 3 OR 4 DAYS.

ACTUALLY THAT STILL ISN’T TOO BAD

BUT IT’S ENOUGH THAT I AM LEACHING NITROGEN AWAY

THAT MEANS THAT THE FOLIAGE IS TURNING

WELL…YELLOW IF NOT WHITE.

Anemic Hydrangeas

IT’S NOT UNCOMMON FOR THIS TO HAPPEN THIS TIME OF THE YEAR

BUT IT’S DEFINITELY MORE THAN USUAL

A FEW WEEKS BACK I SWUNG INTO ACTION

ORGANIC MATTER IS WHAT THEY NEED

SO I DUG OUT THE PEAT MOSS AND SPREAD IT AROUND THE BASE OF THE PLANTS

THIS ALSO HELPS WITH MOISTURE RETENTION

NEXT I ADDED A LAYER OF LEAVES FROM THE PILE OF LEFTOVER LEAVES IN THE BACK

THEN JUST FOR GOOD MEASURE I POURED A COUPLE OF GALLONS OF ALUMINUM SULPHATE OVER EACH PLANT

I EVEN TRIED AN OLD WIVES TALE THAT PAM TOLD ME ABOUT.

PUT BALLS OF ALUMINUM FOIL UNDER THE PLANTS.

ALUMINUM – GET IT.

THE PROBLEM IS THE BALLS KEEP MOVING AROUND THE GARDEN.

I THINK THE SQUIRELS ARE USING THEM FOR BALLS FOR THEIR SUMMER BASEBALL LEAGUE.

IT REMINDS ME OF HOW ELLIOTT AND HIS COUSINS MADE WRAPPING PAPER BALLS AND PLAYED “BALL” IN MY MOTHER’S LIVING ROOM EACH CHRISTMAS.

I DIGRESS.

I WISH I COULD SAY THE HYDANGEAS ARE NOW A RICH DEEP GREEN

THEY ARE NOT

BUT NEITHER HAVE THEY LOST ANY MORE GROUND

SO AT THIS POINT I’M HAPPY

HOLDING YOUR OWN ISN’T BAD.

NORMALLY AT THIS TIME OF THE SUMMER I WOULD ALSO ADD A LAYER OF MANURE AROUND THE BASE OF THE PLANTS AGAIN.

I USUALLY DO IT THREE TIMES A YEAR

SPRING WHEN THEY ARE GREENING UP

MID-SUMMER

AND AS WINTER PROTECTION.

I USE 15 – 40 LBS BAGS.

THAT’S 600 LBS

I HAVE A SYSTEM WORKED OUT WHERE I NEVER ACTUALLY LIFT A BAG.

AFTER HAVING THEM LOADED AT THE STORE

I PULL MY WHEEL BARROW UP TO THE BACK OF THE CAR AND DRAG THE BAGS INTO IT.

THEN I SCOOP IT OUT IN MANAGEABLE AMOUNTS.

THE PROBLEM THIS YEAR IS THE HEAT.

NOT FOR THE PLANTS

BUT FOR ME

IT TAKES AWHILE TO SCOOP OUT 600  LBS. OF MANURE

SO I LIKELY CAN’T GET IT ALL DONE IN ONE MORNING

WHICH MEANS I’LL HAVE MANURE IN MY CAR OVERNIGHT.

IN A RATHER TOASTY GARAGE

SO FAR I’M WAITING FOR A COOLER MORNING.

I HAVE CUT BACK THE “FRIED BLOSSOMS”

TONS OF THEM

Trusty wheel barrow full of blossoms - off to the composter.

AND THE NEW LEAVES FOR THE FALL CROP OF BLOSSOMS ARE COMING ON.

NORMALLY THIS WOULD LEAD TO LATE SUMMER BLOSSOMS

THAT TURN THE MOST WONDERFUL GREEN IN THE FALL.

LAST FALL'S BOUNTY

THIS YEAR….

WE’LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE.

THE HYDRANGEAS IN THE BACK ARE IN MORE SHADE

THEY ARE MUCH HAPPIER THOUGH STILL A BIT ANEMIC

UNFORTUNATELY MOST IN THE BACK ARE AN OLD VARIETY THAT ONLY BLOOMS ON OLD WOOD.

SO THE DILEMMA IS DO I LEAVE THEM WITH THEIR MEAGER BLOOMS

OR…DO I DIG THEM UP AND REPLACE THEM WITH NEWER MORE PROLIFIC BLOOMERS.

I KEEP GETTING EMAILS FROM WHITE FLOWER FARMS ABOUT ALL THE NEW VARIETIES THAT THEY HAVE.

IT’S AS IF THEY KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON IN MY GARDENS

SOMETHING TO PONDER ON THOSE COLD WINTER DAYS THAT WILL COME

I PROMISE

I GUESS WE JUST NEED TO TAKE A CLUE FROM THE HYDRANGEAS

AND HANG IN THERE.

ENJOY THE WEEK.

GAIL

 

HERE ARE A FEW MORE THINGS THAT SEEM TO LOVE THE HEAT!

HELIANTHUS - FALSE SUNFLOWER

THE COCKSCOMB ARE COMING!


 

 

2 Comments

Filed under cockscomb, HELIANTHUS, Hydrangea, Uncategorized

2 responses to “HYDRANGEA – SUMMER OF THEIR DISCONTENT

  1. Linda

    Hi Gail–YES, I paid attention to your dripworks speech… It has saved my life this summer!!! Got it installed (mostly) early July, after spending June hand-watering. Saw my plants immediately perk up, while I enjoyed the view of the garden from the pool instead of the end of the garden hose. (When Alan couldn’t find me, he had taken to following the hose…) While there are many sad plants this year, and even dead mature trees!!, there have been some pleasant surprises!! My burgandy-leaf begonias are doing good, heavenly bamboo (with plenty of drip irrigation) is thriving!, gaillardia, lantana, salvia, butterfly bush, bird of paradise shrub, all have impressed me with how great they are doing! Love my drip system! Thanks for the help!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s