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environment gardening hydrangeas Perennials

Picture perfect?

Besides strummin my Martin and plantin a flower or two, I like to take pictures. Most of my subjects are flowers, but I’ll snap a photo of anything in the natural world that catches my eye.

If you like gardening, then I’m sure you’re familiar with growing bachelor buttons. They’re grown as annuals (annuals grow, bloom, and die in one season) here in the northeast, very easy to grow, even for folks who say they can’t grow anything. Bachelor buttons will reseed too, an added bonus of growing these flowers I think.

Bachelor Button
Bachelor Button

Hydrangeas are also relatively easy to grow here in our neck of the woods. They’re perennials and will keep your yard beautiful for years. The one pictured below is a Pee Gee hydrangea, I love how they change colors from soft white to pink towards the end of summer.

Hydrangea
Hydrangea

Weeds can be a gardener’s biggest headache. I used to let them bother me, I’d spray the most potent weed killer I could find on any and all plants that looked like a weed. But around six years ago I started to notice a drop in the number of honeybees in and around the yard and garden. That’s also about the time I started hearing about Colony Collaspe Disorder, I no longer use chemicals to control weeds or bugs (unless it’s a yellow jacket!).

Weed seedheads
Weed seedheads

A  lot of what I see means more to me than it probably does to you, like the photo of that sun dog. In order for it to show up, the sun’s rays have to reflect off of ice crystals in clouds. When I see one I make a wish, because you never know…

Sun dog
Sun dog
Categories
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.

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