20 September 2016

In the Spotlight: Limelight Hydrangea (hydrangea paniculata limelight)

Hydrangea lovers want three basic things from their plant:  abundant flowers, colour and hardiness.  Limelight hydrangeas fulfill all three requirements spectacularly.  Limelight hydrangeas are extremely hardy for the zone 3 garden, will reward you with plentiful lime tinted panicle flowers that turn white in July and then, often turn pink in late summer.  

Plant your hydrangea in rich moist soil.  Mix in a bit of compost such as Sea Soil to enrich the planting site.  Limelight can handle full sun but morning sun until 1 pm is favourable for most hydrangeas.  A generous mulch of wood chips will help keep the roots cool and help maintain moisture.  

Limelight hydrangeas grow about a metre tall and wide.  They flower on new wood.  This hydrangea offers easy care and stunning displays of blooms beginning in the summer.  Hardy zones 3-8.

19 September 2016

Autumn Leaves

It's the most colourful time of the year when the chlorophyll breaks down and the green recedes in the leaves.  The colours that remain dazzle the eye.  The air is cool and filled with the scent of fall.  Leaves crunch underfoot, the sunflower that sought the sun now feeds the birds, the mums and rudbeckia compliment the season.  

It's so pretty, isn't it?  Yet it's a tender goodbye to summer.

17 September 2016

In the Spotlight: Little Lime Hydrangea (hydrangea paniculata Little Lime)

Little Lime sits on my front porch prior to planting
Little Lime Hydrangea is a compact hardy plant that grows approximately 3-4 feet tall and wide in the prairie region of Canada.  Limelight hydrangea is Little Lime's "sibling."  Little Lime looks like Limelight in a slightly more diminutive form.

The blooms open a lime green colour in short panicles on strong stems in the summer then turn a shade between beige and pink/burgundy for late summer and autumn.

Extremely hardy, Little Lime is hardy zones 3-8. This hydrangea grows best in part sun to sun and blooms on new wood.

A light trim to Little Lime in late winter to early spring is all the pruning necessary. Fertilize with a slow release balanced fertilizer once new growth is evident.  Supplemental feedings of a fertilizer with a higher middle number, phosphorus, is beneficial until the second week in August.  

Little Lime's flowers make terrific long-lasting cut flowers which can be dried indoors if desired.

14 August 2016

In the Spotlight: Bobo Hydrangea (hydrangea paniculata Bobo)

Continuing my feature on hydrangeas that are hardy in zone 3 gardens and have proven themselves worthy of your garden.  Here's Bobo Hydrangea.

Bobo Hydrangea is a paniculata, meaning it has elongated clusters of flowers (a panicle).  It is dwarf and hardy with abundant flowers.

Height: 30 - 36 inches
Width: 36 - 48 inches
Spacing: 48 - 60 inches
Blooms: summer to autumn
Exposure:  part sun to sun

Flowers borne in elongated clusters, start white and turn pink in the autumn.  The bush is literally covered top to bottom in blooms.  Blooms on new wood.  Reliable bloomer.

Soil:  good loam, moderate moisture, well-drained.

Hardy zones 3 - 8

The flowers are upright on strong stems, with panicles continuing to lengthen through the growing season.  

Bobo Hydrangea is a show-stopper.  It was awarded the 2010 Gold FLORALL Medal for best novelty plant.

13 August 2016

In the Spotlight: Bombshell Hydrangea (hydrangea paniculata Bombshell)

Bombshell Hydrangea (hydrangea paniculata Bombshell)  Discovered in May 2003 in the Netherlands.  

Paniculata hydrangea meaning it grows flowers in pyramid shaped clusters known as panicles.  Bombshell Hydrangea is aptly named because the numerous panicles of white blooms seem to explode from the bush.  It is said to have more flowers per plant than any other paniculata hydrangea.  (though Bobo gives it a challenge).  Each flower within the cluster is a star shape and is sterile.  The fertile flowers are not noticeable within the cluster.

Bombshell hydrangea is a dwarf shrub reaching heights of 2-3 feet and widths of 3-4 feet.  Well-branched.  It is a long-blooming shrub, flowering from July through September.  No drooping.  Flowers are white maturing slowly to a rosy pink before turning brown. Leaves are dark green, ovate and serrated, about 2 1/2 inches long.  Leaves are yellow with a purplish tinge in the fall.  Flowers persist somewhat through winter.

Hardy to zone 3, -40 C or -40 F.

Exposure:  part sun to full sun.

Soil:  moist, well-drained.  Add compost to the hole before planting.  Mulch planted hydrangea to retain moisture and keep weeds at bay.

Blooms on new wood.  It may take a couple years to come into its own but will then provide a nice showing of blooms.  No pruning necessary.

11 August 2016

Brilliant Days of Summer Blooms

The colours of summer blooms are vibrant and pop in the garden, well most of them anyway.  There are a few muted tones in the campanula and some delphiniums and hollyhocks but then there are those that are sizzling hot, just like summer days.  Echinacea, for instance, consists of many cultivars that are brilliant shades of yellow, orange and pink.  As spring begets summer, summer soon begets fall and often the flowers of August continue to bloom right through September.  Some just linger on the stem, drying in place.  They liven the garden landscape wherever they are found.

 Echinacea Hot Papaya (coneflower)

 Echinacea Pow Wow Wild Berry (coneflower)

Delphinium 'Guinevere'

Echinacea 'Cantaloupe' (coneflower)

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Endless Summer'

Osteospermum 'Blue Eyed Beauty' (annual African daisy)

Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver's Root) cultivar unknown

Veronica spicata 'Royal Candles' (Dwarf spike speedwell)

 Alcea rosea (Hollyhock) - cultivar unknown

Larkspur (Delphinium) - cultivar unknown

Lychnis (Maltese Cross)

Rosa 'Campfire' (Campfire Rose)

Rudbeckia ' Cherokee Sunset' (gloriosa daisy)

Veronica spicata (possibly Red Fox)

Campanula 'Light Blue Clips' (bellflower)



 Alcea rosea (Hollyhock) cultivar unknown

Trollius 'Orange Globe' (globeflower) 

Digitalis 'Dalmation Purple' (foxglove)

Digitalis 'Dalmation Peach' (foxglove)

Alcea rosea 'Queeny Purple' (Hollyhock )

Phlox and Monarda (bee balm)

Hydrangea macrophylla (mop head) (possibly 'Endless Summer')  photo by SWM

#Augustblooms  #zone3summerflowers 


09 August 2016

My World Tuesday

It has been a rainy summer here in the Edmonton region and I am not complaining one bit.  It's so much nicer to work outside when it's cooler.  You simply dress for it.

Today's photo is that of raindrops upon the expired blossom of my passionflower vine (right) and the vine itself (left).  I admit to being totally enamoured with this vine, have been for years in fact.  I've had it a year now and it has had an incredible succession of blooms this summer.  Something tells me it is enjoying our rainy season too.

From my little corner of the world, cheers!

Linking up with:  http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.ca
#rainydayphotography  #passionflower  #yeggardens

07 August 2016

In the Spotlight: Incrediball Hydrangea Arborescens (hydrangea arborescens incrediball)

Incrediball® Hydrangea arborescens 'Abetwo' 

Incrediball hydrangea is an improved Annabelle hydrangea.  It looks almost identical but the stems are extremely sturdy and won't flop over like the Annabelle hydrangea.

Very hardy, zones 3-8
Height:  4 - 5 feet
Width:  4 - 5 feet (space 4 to 6 feet apart)
Blooms:  early summer to fall
Dimension of blooms:  as much as 12" across
Foliage:  dark green, serrated edges
Growth habit:  mounded
Soil:  moist, well-drained

Incrediball blooms on new wood and benefits from pruning in early spring.  Flowers open green, turn white before maturing to green again.  

This would be my choice for a white mophead hydrangea as it is sturdy enough to hold the blooms erect while providing masses of balls of white clustered flowers.  It is similar in height and width to Annabelle as well.

06 August 2016

In the Spotlight: Invincibelle Spirit II: the Pink Annabelle

Introduced as the first pink Annabelle type hydrangea in 2009 by Proven Winners, Invincibelle Spirit is a pink mophead that is hardy in zone 3 gardens. Seven years later, Proven Winners now has an improved sturdy pink mop head called Invincibelle Spirit II.  They've improved on the stalks, making them strong enough to stand up to rain storms and remain upright, even while carrying the large pink ball-shaped clusters of blooms.  The florets are a dark pink-red, open to a dark pink and fade to a jade green in time for autumn.  Dark green foliage covers the stems of this rounded shrub.

It is a reliable bloomer, blooming early summer through fall, even reblooming. 

Plant where it gets at least 6 hours of sun a day. Fewer hours in a hot climate is ok but this hydrangea does require sun to promote strong growth and vigorous blooming.  Mulch with 2-3 inches of shredded bark mulch to keep the roots cool and the soil moist.  

It may take a few years for this variety to fully establish but you'll be rewarded for your patience with a healthy vigorous pink mophead hydrangea.  

In the spring, cut back by about 1/3.  This will help make strong sturdy stems to support the blooms.  

Hardy to -40 C or -40 F.  Zones 3-9

Height:  3-4 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Most soil conditions as long as it's moist. Soil and water ph does not affect bloom colour.

$1 from the sale of each plant is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


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