Entries in hydrangea 'Endless Summer' (7)


A Late September Tour of My Garden

Some friends came over recently for a tour of the garden. Panic! Summer is over, and fall is not quite here. What's to see in the garden? Other than weeds? But there is always something to enjoy. So here is a quick tour of some parts of the garden for those who can't see it in person.

Near the patio the old doghouse is smothered on one side by wild ageratum. Before it bloomed, Lou wanted to pull this weed, but I told him to leave it. A few sprigs of Red Cascade rose combine with the wildflowers and the bright colors of the doghouse.

From the other side of the patio, here is a view of the front garden. Notice the Red Banana plant, back from the dead!

Aren't these red banana leaves gorgeous?

Lets walk down the steps and peek at the Lady Garden. I have done a lot of work here this year, and there is still much to do: the joy of gardening!

I love the variegated ficus shown above, which grows in a pot in the Lady Garden. It is not hardy, and I will have to bring it in by December. I will also have to bring in the terra cotta lady head pot, shown below. This pot is what gives this part of my garden its name. The terra cotta can not take the freezing and thawing that accompanies winter. Notice I have put out my first pumpkins, in celebration of fall.

Leaving the Lady Garden, an oakleaf hydrangea catches our attention. These grow wild all over the place. This one already has amazing fall colors.

Walking up the road we look over the woodland garden. I won't take you in there today, but here are a couple of views you can see from the road.A trident maple on the left and the spreading branches of 'Orido Nishiki' Japanese maple complement the mondo grass that grows as a ground cover below them.From the road you can get an overview of the entry to the woodland garden.

In front of the house, by the parking court, silvery 'Powis Castle' artemesia, bright spider lilies, and Autumn sage combine to offer a colorful greeting to guests.

Finally, here are some more blooms we see on our tour.Top row: a couple of colorful fall mums. 2nd row: 'Penelope' rose and purple Heliotrope, which has been blooming all summer in the front planter. Third row: Both of these blooms are on the same shrub - Hydrangea 'Endless Summer' has lived up to its name!I hope you enjoyed the tour. My friends got raspberry chocolate cake; for that you will have to come in person!

Have a great week!    Deborah 


It's Your Fault, Carolyn

I was out in the garden yesterday, swinging the pick axe. October has been fairly dry, and the clay soil has become like concrete. Yet not all of it is like that. There are plenty of places I have been improving for years, adding compost and mulch with the seasons, and in these areas the shovel will slice through with satisfying ease. But not the spot I chose to dig. Oh, no. That particular spot was all native, hard enough to test the metal of any shovel. It was time for the heavy, sharp pick axe.

It's all Carolyn's fault. This fellow blogger, of Carolyn's Shade Gardens, and whose professional opinion I enormously respect, commented on the following photo I published in my June post, A Look at the Front Garden. In my acid soil the 'Endless Summer' hydrangea is bright blue:

Carolyn said she wished the blue hydrangea was next to the blue bench, which is located in another part of the front garden. Of course! Technicolor! Why hadn't I thought of that? Yet there's no place for the bench next to the hydrangea, and I didn't want to move the large shrub. However, I remembered Carolyn's comment when I saw a small 'Endless Summer' hydrangea for sale this week. The plant even had a few hot house induced blooms for instant gratification, despite the fall weather. Here in Alabama, October is the perfect month for planting shrubs, so I determined to buy this one and plant it next to the blue bench.

So Carolyn, it's your fault I was huffing and puffing and swinging the pick axe like a member of a chain gang. I hope it's worth it! Here's the results of my efforts:

One can't tell from the photo, but the little hydrangea is several feet from the bench to allow room for growth. 'Endless Summer' will turn pink in basic soil and blue in acid. There's no guarantee it will be the same shade of blue as the original one, but I think it will be pretty whatever the color turns out to be. I amended the soil with some good, home-cooked compost, and I watered it well. Hydrangeas need a lot of water, so I'll be diligent to keep it hydrated. Cooler temperatures will help it to become well established before next summer's heat. 

I hope the combination blue hydrangea/blue bench will live up to my vision. And to Carolyn's. I have been blogging for two years now, as of October 5, and in that time I have received many good tips and ideas from other garden bloggers. Thank you, Carolyn, and to you all who have supported and encouraged me and whose creative endeavors keep my own plans blossoming. Happy blogging and more gardening to you!