Hydrangeas – Part 2

As promised, here are some pictures of my hydrangeas that are now in full bloom.

My largest Hydrangea bush

Close up of large Hydrangea

This bush had one pink bloom on it…

Single pink bloom

…weird, huh?

Formerly pink Hydrangea

This one was a pink Hydrangea when it was planted 2 years ago, and bloomed pink last year too.  Here is a close up:

Close up of formerly pink Hydrangea

Oak Leaf Hydrangea

It is funny how the Oak Leaf Hydrangea blooms white but changes to a pink tinge as it ages.

Lady In Red Hydrangea

And, finally, my Lady in Red lacecap Hydrangea.  This on will continue to bloom most of the summer.

I hope you have enjoyed my Hydrangeas as much as I have.  Soon, I will be showing my Crepe Myrtles, which have started blooming surprisingly early this year.

Have any of your Hydrangeas changed color since you planted them?

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Hydrangeas – Part 1

First off, let me apologize for it being so long since my last posting.  I have been trying to post three times a week, but last week got rather hectic.

I have been thinking very hard about what I wanted to post.  I was walking around my yard yesterday and realized most of my Hydrangeas are about to bloom.  So, out came the camera (of course).  None of my Hydrangeas have opened up completely, so that is why this is part 1.  When they get fully opened, I’ll post part 2, that will be full of pictures of their beauty.

Bigleaf Hydrangea - Lavendar

Bigleaf Hydrangea – Lavendar

Pink Bigleaf Hydrangea – New Blooms

I actually have several different Hydrangeas in my yard, as they are one of my favorite flowers.  I have two of the regular bigleaf varieties with the mophead flowers.  One blooms lavendar and the other was still pink last year.  We shall see if it stays that way or not. I have not added any lime to the soil to raise the ph, so it may not stay pink.  These bloom once a year, in the spring.

Lacecap Hydrangea – ‘Lady In Red’

I also have a bigleaf variety with lacecap flowers.  This one is called ‘Lady in Red’.  It has beautiful blue flowers, but the name comes from the red stems on the new growth.  This one will bloom just about all summer.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

I have several oakleaf Hydrangeas too.  Their flowers grow in a cone shape and are white. They also only bloom once a year in the spring, but can really brighten up a shady area.

I have several panicle Hydrangeas that I have rooted from a very large bush I had.  Last year I had to move the large bush, as the trees around it had grown so large, it was not getting any sun and would not bloom.  While oakleaf Hydrangeas and most bigleaf Hydrangeas will grow in shady areas, panicle Hydrangeas must have a good bit of sun to bloom.  The pancles I have are still too young to bloom, and the large one I moved did not survive.  Hopefully, in a few years, I will begin to see blooms on the young ones.

I think most of my Hydrangeas should be fully opened by next week, so look for some updated pictures then.

What is your favorite color of Hydrangea?

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Dividing Hostas, Bulbs, Tubers and Liriope

I have been asked the question, what time of year should I divide my Hostas, bulbs and Liriope (Monkey Grass)?  I will tell you up front, I am really bad to divide my plants when it is most convenient for me.  That is not always the best time for the plant, however, according to the experts.  Here is what I have found to be the suggested times for dividing your plants that spread.

Dividing Hostas:  It is generally recommended that the best time for dividing Hostas is in the late summer or early fall.  This gives them a chance to recover before the cold sets in and protects newly divided plants from the worst of summer’s heat.  However, they are a very hardy plant and you really can divide Hostas at any time during the growing season.  If you choose to divide them during the spring or summer, be sure to replant them carefully, mulch them well and keep them watered, until they have had time to fully reestablish their roots.  Those are some of my Hostas at the top of my page.

Bearded Iris

Dividing bulbs and tubers:  Spring flowering bulbs should be divided in September or October.  This is sometimes difficult as they have disappeared from view by this time.  You may need to mark the area where they are located while they are blooming, to be able to find them again in the fall.  Summer flowering bulbs can be divided in early April or late fall.  Tubers, like Bearded Iris, are best divided soon after they flower.

Liriope

Dividing Liriope (Monkey Grass):  You can divide Liriope anytime of the year, as it is a very hardy plant.  It will have the least stress if you divide it in the spring after the last frost or in the fall before the first frost, but will do fine in the heat of the summer if you keep it watered well until it has time to reestablish new roots.  As you can see above, we have some concrete blocks that help slow the water rushing under our deck.  They are not very attractive but they serve the purpose.  I divided my Liriope last year (in the middle of the summer, of course) and planted it in the openings of the blocks.  I am hoping they will get big enough to cover most of the blocks.  At least they do soften the hard edges some.

How do you know when your plants need to be divided?  For bulbs, I found the following chart on Garden services.com:

Bulb                      Years to Divide
      Tulips                         3 - 5
      Daffodils                      3 - 6
      Hyacinths                      2 - 3
      Lilies                         4 - 6
      Surprise Lily (Lycoris)        3 - 5
      Iris (Bulbous types)           3 - 6
      Alliums                        4 - 8
      Crocus                         seldom needed
      Grape Hyacinths (Muscari)      seldom needed

I have never divided my surprise Lilies (I have had them for about 8 years), and they have not slowed their blooming.  As a matter of fact, they just keep popping up in new places!  My Iris, however, have to be divided every few years.  When you notice they are blooming sporadically, you will know it is time to divide them.

Hostas really do not have to be divided unless they have overfilled an area.  I have Hostas in my yard that have been there close to 10 years, and still come back beautifully every year without being divided.  The same goes for the Liriope.  I divide Liriope and Hostas only when I need some to plant elsewhere, or when I have friends that want some.

All these plants are wonderful to share with friends and family.  I had not realized until the last few years that I had instilled a love of gardening in my daughter and being able to share the plants in my yard with her and my daughter-in-law is a true joy to me!  So, next time you are ready to divide your bulbs, Hostas or Liriope, don’t just put them all back in your yard, share the joy with others!

Do you enjoy sharing the plants in your yard with others?