Faded Beauty

My hydrangeas were getting way too leggy and the blooms were so heavy I had to keep tying them up. We have several huge plantings of them around the house.

It kept getting worse – branches were starting to break, blooms were dragging on the ground, walkways were being blocked – so I gave them a severe pruning. I’m hoping I did it before they set their buds for next years blooms.  Fingers crossed we get some blooms next year, but I’ll be very happy with bushy growth and verdant green nonetheless.

I really didn’t want to do it as it is nice to have the blooms throughout the fall, but it needed to be done so the next blooms can be enjoyed instead of battled. To make myself feel better I came up with a few ways to keep them around a bit longer.

A giant bouquet by the front door

“Chop and drop” mulch

Not wanting their early demise to be for naught, I am using every last bit of the prunings. The woodier branches are in my chipping pile to be used for pathways in the garden.

Even though the blooms had already started to fade when I pruned, the colors are still quite amazing.

They went from this

to this

I guess some of us just improve with age…

 

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About La Femme Farmer

Starting up a small farm is the goal for the second half of my life. It's a late start I know, but better late than NEVER! Growing food, cooking and eating are my passions and now I get to do it full-time (and then some). and yes, that's a tomato from my garden!
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4 Responses to Faded Beauty

  1. roberta4949 says:

    wow those blooms are really blue! I would of just put a pole in the middle (so you cannot see it) and tied the stems to that that bush ws to pretty to cut so soon.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Roberta!
    Yah – I really hated to do it but the branches were getting so tall and they were way too thin to support the huge blooms we get, so I bit the bullet and gave them an early trim. I should be rewarded for the sacrifice in years to come when they fill out. The first picture (pre-prune) was taken about a month ago. When I trimmed them back yesterday, the blooms were already changing color. Given the thunderstorm we just had I’d say I did it in the knick of time – otherwise the blooms by my front door would have not have been as nice.
    I do smile every time I walk by the “mulched” beds – I think it is the best looking chop and drop mulch I’ve ever seen. The bonus is that the mulch is helping to build soil in those beds to boot!

  3. Aha…that’s where our predicted thunderstorm went – south!
    We have an enormous hydrangea outside the staff door at work, same issue you’re dealing with – it’s just sprawling everywhere, as though it outgrew itself. One of my colleagues who has a flower stand at home, and is therefore light years ahead of me on flower gardening thinks it was too hot for them this summer, because her bushes at home are doing the same thing. I think they just get too big for their britches…They are lovely though, and I love the variations in blueness that you can get even in one head. I’ve seen excellent dried arrangements, and I believe they are the sort of thing you can just hang to dry.

  4. It has been quite the storm – but at long last the plants are getting a good soaking and thank goodness it wasn’t from me standing around with a hose for hours! With this heat and new fruit tree plantings his year, we’ve been hauling 275 gallons of water to the farm every weekend and that has been no picnic either. Maybe with this storm I can skip watering this weekend at the farm and get some other tasks taken care of.
    All of our hydrangeas have been having this long leggy problem for the last couple of years and as I discovered a few months ago – the beds up against the house have the absolute worse soil – it’s barely even soil – it’s more like dirt! I took the beds for granted as they were established when I moved here and well, I’ve been focused on a few other things… Anyhow – I’ve been trying to remedy it by mulching the heck out of it and giving everything a good watering – especially this year.
    Great to hear from you SSF!

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