Saturday, 12 September 2015

Hydrangea paniculata plans


Everything's 'greened' up since late August. We had two belts of heavy rain pass by during the month which took the pressure off the worsening water situation and got things growing again. Now as we head towards mid- September everything is that bit more turgid and under a softer sunlight the garden looks so much better.

The low box hedge, growing by La Fermette which I clipped back hard in February is starting to leaf out nicely. This is such good news as it was a freebie - a rare thing - and even though there is every re-assurance that box is tough and slowly it will respond, there's always an element of doubt that there may be a casualty.

As a temporary filler  (it's a parterre remember) I grew annual cosmos which managed to look awful by the end of August. Quite how cosmos fails is a mystery as it's probably the easiest annual to grow, but fail they did, so I pulled the lot which gave more light to the self seeded nicotiana sylvestris - a bunch of volunteers courtesy of a disturbed seed bank -  and which now looks likely to run up to flower as we really get into Autumn.

I thought long and hard as to what would be the perfect plant(s) to provide a more permanent solution to grow in this particular spot, the old 'right plant, right place' adage which led me to hydrangeas. It's a part sun location, capable of better water retention than other areas by the river and a half decent soil which I'll enrich with composted cow manure!



Is a sack of dung worthy of a photograph?

As to the hydrangeas, I decided on two paniculata types, 'Unique' and 'Vanille fraise'




The blooms aren't exactly at their best right now. I had to trim most of them off to get the plants into the car, but fingers crossed, next year, planted with Japanese anemones (I am planting the dark pink 'Pamina') they should make a great association.

8 comments:

  1. It has been incredibly dry here after a very wet spring. The mums and asters don't have buds even though i have watered. It is going to be a sad fall here flower wise.

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    1. That's a real shame. They must have been severely stressed not to bud at all. Do we blame El Niño?

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  2. Ah, love those panicle hydrangeas. Thanks to a longer and warmer growing season than usual, my 'Little Lime' hydrangeas are shading toward deep rose before a hard frost turns them to the color of parchment. Usually they only get a little pink before that frost, but you should have plenty of time to enjoy the fall coloring!

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    1. I think it'll be next fall as I had to cut the hydrangeas back to fit them in the car - so few blooms this year unfortunately. I've just google little lime hydrangeas. They look lovely

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  3. It's good to see you post Rob. I've been wondering how your summer was going. I hope that those hydrangeas settle in well. Those green deckchairs look most inviting.

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    1. Hi Anna. Those deck chairs are inviting.It's nice to sit along by the river. I'm chomping at the bit to get those hydrangeas in the ground but will have to wait until my final guests depart before digging up the garden.

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  4. Hi Rob, I felt synchronicity reading your post. I just bought a hydrangea very similar and yes, after a beastly year, the worst drought ever in British Columbia. Sadly there are dead husks of old shrubs everywhere, especially the beautiful rhodos. I never thought I'd see that. With a new garden I struggled just to keep it alive. Can't wait to visit your neck of the woods this fall and be inspired (not to mention not have to water anything).

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    1. Hi Jan. Your drought must have been awful. It's always disconcerting when well established, normally thriving plant life is destroyed by nature. I hope your garden has picked up fully now.
      October is usually a nice month here. I'm crossing my fingers for some warm sunshine when you're over.

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