This beautiful snap is compliments of flickr
It's that time of the year here in the Northeast when one of my favorite bushes is in bloom! Hydrangeas are soooo heavenly here. The closer you get to the ocean the more vivid the blooms it seems. I've done some good research on how to change the color of hydrangea blooms & thought I would share with all of you~Enjoy the photos of the summer's prettiest blossoms! xo
Here are some tips for changing the color of these scrumptious blossoms~:)
Changing Blooms To Pink~
For hydrangea blooms to be pink, the plants must not take up aluminum from the soil. If the soil naturally contains aluminum, one must try to keep it away from the hydrangea's system. Following are a few tricks that might work:
Changing Blooms To Blue~
To obtain a blue hydrangea, aluminum must be present in the soil. To ensure that aluminum is present, aluminum sulfate may be added to the soil around the hydrangeas.
Authorities recommend that a solution of 1/2 oz (1 Tbsp) aluminum sulfate per gallon of water be applied to plants (which are at least 2-3 years old) throughout the growing season. Important: Water plants well in advance of application and put solution on cautiously, as too much can burn the roots.
To make the aluminum available to the plant, the pH of the soil should be low (5.2-5.5). Adding aluminum sulfate will tend to lower the pH of the soil. Another method for lowering the pH is to add organic matter to the soil such as coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels, grass clippings etc.
If the soil naturally contains aluminum and is acid (low pH) the color of the hydrangea will automatically tend toward shades of blue and/or purple.
The choice of fertilzer will also affect the color change. A fertilizer low in phosphorus and high in potassium is helpful in producing a good blue color(25/5/30 is good. Potassium is the last number). Superphosphates and bone meal should be avoided when trying to produce blue.
After stating this with much certainty, I hasten to add that it is virtually impossible to turn a hydrangea blue for any length of time if it is planted in soil with no aluminum and that is highly alkaline (chalky). One would have to be very diligent in keeping the soil properly conditioned as stated above.
Perhaps the best idea for growing blue hydrangeas in an area with alkaline soil would be to grow them in very large pots using lots of compost to bring the pH down. The above suggestions for bluing would also work for a potted plant. Reduce the strength of the Aluminum sulfate to 1/4 oz per gallon of water. In a pot, it will be much easier to control the requirements for bluing.
Have fun with your hydrangeas my friends! xo
The days are flying & life is getting busier than usual! The beach house needs to be opened up for the season & garden customers have me working like crazy almost every day for hours! I love it though, it truly is my passion! The grandkids need to be taken to tennis lessons & baseball games so I'm taking a bit of a blog break. I'll miss you all & will try to sit for a bit here & there and catch up on all your blogs. I will be back with pretty garden photos when things calm down & I have a few minutes to snap photos! Have a wonderful memorial day weekend & remember to give thanks for those who have served our country with courage~ see you soon! xo :)
Phlox Blue Moon
I'm off & runnning with a very busy garden season! Seems as though here in the northeast it's winter & then all of a sudden summer. Where did the springs go? anywho....busy, busy busy & trying to get everyone designed & planted before memorial day with my eyes on the night temps, just in case we have a frost & all my pretty plantings are cold & half dead! It's a crap shoot every year trying to get everything done for the first holiday of the warmer weather, but throwing caution to the wind with the sometimes really cold nights! Here are some of my fav perennials that I am planting like a mad woman, along with pretty annuals that just keep the colors going all season. Do you love these pretty blooms as well? what are your favorites? tell me! Off to bed for a 5am wake up call! LOL! Have a wonderful week & get your hands dirty(or your garden gloves) planting! xo
Ageratum Artist Purple
I'm not a patient person at all. I seem to want things yesterday! LOL! I was looking at shots of the front & back of my home & daydreaming about my beautiful wisteria climbing & literally dripping off of the pergola in the back of the house & the new one we put up in the front last year. Seems as though when the wisteria buds are visible, the warm weather isn't far behind. Lots of people here in New England look for the blooms of the forsythia bushes to mark the beginning of spring & warmer weather but for me it takes just a few weeks longer. It's when I can see the beautiful buds ready to pop on my wisteria. A dear friend & I used to get in the car & hunt for pretty wisteria in white, lavender & pink every season in a very historical section of providence(the east side.) You could say we were a little obsessed but it was fun & we'd always go for dessert & coffee at our favorite dessert shop Pastiche. (that's when I could eat anything & stay skinny!) Now I'm busy tending to my own gardens & gearing up for garden season with my customers & she is working full time. We have both added beautiful wisteria trees in our own yards so we don't have to go far & we still get together for coffee & dessert all the time! (even though I have to do 45 minutes on the eliptical the day after now! LOL! :) Have a wonderful Monday! xo
My dear friend Tara sent me this a few years ago when I was whining & complaining about winter one day. She took a favorite photo of my yard & framed it with a pretty digi frame & sent it over which put a HUGE smile on my face. We got MORE snow today & the day was so bleak & dreary I dug this up & decided to perk myself up with what's coming in just a few short months! YEAHHHHH!!!! Thanks again dear friend for this lovely framed hint of warm weather beauty! xo
Just a short blog post today~Hope you are all ready for Halloween one of my very favorite holidays)& trying not to eat all the halloween candy in the house! LOL! Here is a small bouquet of Dahlias picked from a garden clients garden & placed in my favorite Mackenzie-Childs pitcher for you to enjoy! These are the giant size dahlias & they were spectacular in this clients garden all summer. This is the last of them & she so generously insisted I take a bouquet to enjoy~hope you enjoy them to! xo
Just look at this english beauty!
My gardens are just popping right now with roses of every kind! the heat, sun & extra rain we've had have all been a big boost this year to flowers, especially the roses! I haven't had much luck with these beauties in the past but am learning how to care for different varieties & buying ones that are virtually carefree. I feel like a rose pro this year! :)
I finally got my cortisone shot for my ailing knee & it was instant relief! I still need an MRI to see exactly what's going on in there but I'm not freaking out because I can go to an OPEN MRI (no way am I going into that tube! I am SO claustraphobic!) I hope it's nothing that needs to be surgically repaired because I am terrified of being put to sleep too! Can you say phobias? LOL! I will deal with whatever needs to be done, but will torture my poor family if it comes to that! Hopefully it's just a weird inflamation from overuse or as my darling grandaugher told her friends "She has arthritis because she's old!" I wanted to strangle her!LOL! She brags to her friends that she has a very young looking, fit grandmother & then goes & says that!LOL! She was giggling away. Anyway.... that's the update on my knee. Been taking it easy & the weeds & the deadheading of flowers in my clients gardens is getting out of hand but I'm trying to take it in stride & just do what I can, knowing that I'll eventually catch up. It's so hard not going at warp speed like I'm so use to. I'm sure most of you are very familar with that speed also. SO....that's the scoop. Leaving for the beach house tomorrow night & hopefully I'll enjoy it more this weekend with an almost pain free knee & eyes that aren't bugged out & red from allergic conjunctivitis! LOL! One of my favorite boutique customers emailed me & told me even my knee & eye saga reminded her of a lucy episode where lucy somehow glues her eyes shut mistakenly trying to get into one of ricky's productions & then hurts her knee because she can't see & tries to hide everything on ricky. I was in stitches reading her email. thank you sandy for making my day! Hope all of my blog friends out there have a fabulous end to the week & a wonderful weekend! It's hot as heck here~how is it where you are? xo
I have so missed blogging lately but my time designing, planting & maintaining clients gardens has my head spinnning! LOL! I try to spend as much time tending to my own gardens during these wonderful warm months too, so that doesn't leave me a whole lot of time for website work (which takes a little respite during the summer months) or blogging. Right now I am slowly starting to get covered in poison ivy & am a bit uncomfortable tonight. I thought I was home free & then jinxed myself by feeling pretty cocky that I hadn't gotten it yet this year so I probably won't & VOILA it appeared! AHHHH! I usually get it so badly that I have to go on a dose of steroids to be comfortable. We'll see how It is on Monday & then I'll either make the call to the dr. or tuff it out. I've been trying to get over to my favorite blogs & have noticed lots & lots of blogging about gardens & gorgeous photos of some really fabulous gardens! I would love to join in so I am posting some photos I took today after a completely enjoyable gardening day in my yard with my sweet hubby. He would much rather have been on the golf course today but decided to do some of the grunt work I couldn't do due to a sore knee! lol~YES! I do feel like I am falling apart right now with the posin ivy & the runners knees acting up! you should have seen me limping around the yard like a 90 year old!
Absolutely LOVE verbena, especially the lavender that looks almost blue! Don't you love this color against the black of the urn?!
My english inspired garden is really coming together this year. I bought a big cement urn for the middle, planted it with a small fir tree & underplanted it with white new waves, licorice plant & lavender verbena. It will be spilling over the sides in no time! I planted 4 small boxwood around the urn to make it look truly english.
A stunning salmon pink hibiscus sits on the vintage outdoor dining table. So does a vase of pretty light lavender rhodys!
A stain glass window hangs from the pergola.
Hostas give me a feel for the victorian era~I have tons of these all over my yard.
Birdbath planted with lavender & pink verbena~I love planting these! Don't worry I have other birdbaths for the birds! LOL!
Here's another birdbath for the birds. It's actually a tracy porter planter I use for the birdies.
Pretty soon this part of the yard will be a sea of pinks, soft yellows, white & lavender. My gardens reach their peak in july where the additional colors blend with all the blooming roses!
There is something so nostalgic for me to watch a sprinkler water the gardens & the lawn. It's what people did when I was growing up. I have never pushed the issue of irrigation with my hubby because I love putting on the sprinklers & listening to the clicking of the water going back & forth.
A very old toolboox planted with white & blue supertunias.
St. Francis watches over the herb garden~
This fabulous bloom ranks number 1 as an all-time favorite! What are your favorite flowers my blog friends? Next post may just be all about hydrangeas! I have quite a few varieties growing now. I think I'm partial to the "endless summer" variety that blooms all summer long & on new & old wood. Stunning! This was just what I needed to feel connected to the blog world again~I'm off to catch up on reading some more of your blogs! xoxo