gardening hydrangeas

Limited/unlimited space

The older I get, the more limited I want my space to be; gardening space that is. I think small space gardeners have an easier time when it comes to making choices about which plants to grow. With only a limited amount of room, I’d say they’re much more particular about the growing habits of their plants. I have the opposite dilemma, I’ve got too much space and if I had the cash, I’d probably end up buying at least one variety of every named species hardy to my zone 5 garden.

One of my favorite shrubs is hydrangeas (we have two pee gees and two Nikko blues) and the Agricultural Research Service has just announced the introduction of two new ones, “the first compact forms of Hydrangea quercifolia,” or oakleaf hydrangeas: ‘Ruby Slippers,’ and ‘Munchkin.’  Most of you probably know about the oakleaf  hydrangeas and their attractive leaves that resemble those of the oak tree. My sister-in-law has a gorgeous specimen in her garden that I’d love to have in mine. There’s just something about that leaf shape that makes the shrub seem so elegant.

Changing the subject, it’s time to start mowing. Actually, it’s past time, but my mower was in the shop for about a month so I’m behind other lawn mowers and the grass has grown egregiously. Instead of writing this, I should be out in the garage sharpening the blades, there’s three of them. I keep telling myself it’s time to teach my 17-year old son how to use a power grinder, but it seems he’s always holding his cell phone. And I’m afraid he’ll hurt himself, so I just keep doing it. He and his sister dread mowing and I dread having to tell them to mow. I think they’re both on the verge of being diagnosed with Nature Deficit Disorder. I wonder if it’s my fault.


By TC Conner

Pro hobbyist photographer, drone enthusiast, musician, husband and father.

9 replies on “Limited/unlimited space”

Well I’m hoping by now you ‘ve mowed that lawn TC;) For me it is most cathargic-so much so that I’ve probably already mowed mine like 20 times-a bit obsessed you might say.

I did not know there were new compact oakleafs. I have a Vaughn’s Lillie and it is fairly small. I think you just can’t beat hydrangeas big or small and this year looks to be the best year ever for mine. No late freeze-yippee! With all your space I’d be a propagating fool with those PGs. They are really easy and grow fast. I bet they look wonderful in your garden.

P.S. Love the new look and page set up. The header photo is so you and really looks nice.

I love your blog! This is not a reply but a question? It will soon be time to plant tomatoes here in the Shenango Valley. I would like to know what to do to stop the blight we were dealing with last garden season. I know rotating crops helps but is there anything else that can be done??? Thanks for your help.

Hi Devenna (love that name!), and thanks for stopping by my blog and a BIG THANKS! for leaving a comment. I’m going to email you with a few tips for helping to prevent late blight. Unfortunately, there is nothing I know of that can stop it once plants are infected. And the tough thing about blight, especially last year’s epidemic, is the fact that the bacterial spores are wind borne. This means that if your neighbor(s) gets the disease, and you’ve not been applying fungicide on a regular basis, it’s more than likely that you’ll be hit with blight also due to the fact that Mother Nature cannot be told when to blow her winds or in what direction.

Teach the kids how to do the lawn. You sound like my father when he didn’t want me to learn how to drive a car. I haven’t killed anyone or myself yet and have no plans to do so. Giving them some responsibility might actually teach them to respect the work you do to keep the property looking so good. And, it’s good physical activity (humm, Dad might need that…) plus, give them something to talk about.

Love my oak-leaf! Especially in the fall, when it turns a luscious shade of orange.
I’ve got an acre here and I always tell people I’m doing my best to fill it up. I just wish I had gotten an earlier start than five years ago. But better late to gardening than never, right?

I forgot about the beauty of those leaves in the fall Ms. Kylee! That’s another excellent reason why I must have one (or two?) of this variety! And I also wish I had started much earlier transforming my big yard (close to three acres!) into a big garden. If only I had my youth back! ;~)

I had a variegated oak-leaf hydrangea in my last home, and I don’t think the blooms are as sumptuous, but the foliage was a knock-out!

I love variegated foliage! If you’re interested in another “knock-out” blooming hydrangea, try the Nikko blue variety Tim. They’re very easy to grow and the blooms are almost as big as soccer balls.

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