Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hydrangeas - Blue, Pink, White and Lace

The hydrangeas are in full bloom in my yard right now. These clusters are rich blues with a hint of purple are really a welcome treat this month.

I have a few different types of hydrangeas in my garden. These blue beauties (above) are called Hydrangea 'Endless Summer.' These are the mop-head style hydrangeas and will alter their color based on the pH of the soil - pink blooms in alkaline and blue blooms in acidic. They stay true to their name "Endless Summer" because they bloom from late spring well into the fall. Gorgeous!

Here is a mop-head in full bloom (above left) and a little newborn mop-head just starting to open its many flowers on the one head. 

I also have a lacecap hydrangea. On these flower heads, small fuzzy blue flowers occupy the center and they are surrounded by a various number of 4 petaled flat flowers. The overall look is more delicate - like lace or a doily. 

Another new hydrangea I added last year is Hydrangea 'Annabelle'. These have gorgeous white blooms and big green foliage. Unlike the blue hydrangea, their color cannot be altered by changing the soil pH. We have them planted in a nice shady spot to the far end of the property. It's a lovely background to the seating area.

I inherited these hot pink hydrangeas from the previous owners of the house. The color is simply show-stopping and the flower heads can really get large. Beautiful in the landscape but also a great cut flower. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

What's Blooming: June 2013

June is my favorite month in the garden. Everything is bursting with color and new growth, the birds are chirping in the trees and the weather is still comfortable enough to enjoy the outdoors all day long.

Here are a few things blooming in my garden this month:

Ah, beautiful pink carpet roses. They stay low to the ground, are disease resistant and keep flowering without the need to deadhead. When in full bloom, it really does look like I have a pink rose carpet in my garden.

I have grown quite fond of Astilbe over the years. These in particular are wonderful. They look like fluffy pink feathers and have a wonderful sweet aroma that I catch every time I walk by. These used to be in mostly shade, but now, after the backyard renovation last year, they are in mostly full sun and seem to be tolerating it really well (thankfully!)

Lacecap Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla normalis) is so beautiful, unique and elegant (in my opinion, of course!). The bees love the blue "landing pads" and the cute white flowers that surround it make it look as dainty as a doily.

And of course, it wouldn't be June in the shade if I didn't have the Mophead Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) to enjoy. The deep blue is simply stunning. I have 4 of these shrubs under the oak tree and only one is more pink/purple than the rest. I'm guessing the soil pH in that spot is slightly more alkaline (above pH 7) than the rest of the area (which is probably neutral to acidic since these flowers are blue).

The previous owners of our house had so many hostas on the property. I keep finding them in random places and moving them to the garden. I love this blue one with it's textured, slightly cupped leaf and the bright white flowers on the erect stems above the leaves.

And of course, my favorite flower of all time, the daisy (Leucanthemum). It's bright, white petals with golden yellow center is so cheery and makes me smile every time I see them. 

The Cardinals have been particularly happy with our backyard. They come visit nearly every day, whether the bird feeder is stocked or not. We spotted this one high up in the tree this morning, chirping away. 

Things are growing so quickly here and more blooms each week. Stay tuned for July's "What's Blooming" in a few weeks!