April 29, 2014
Expanding The Hydrangea Garden
Hydrangeas are popular ornamental plants, grown for their large flower heads, which are excellent in arrangements and for drying. As you may recall, I am in the process of redesigning all of the gardens at my Lily Pond home in East Hampton. Part of that design was moving several large, mature mophead hydrangeas. Since I wanted to expand the hydrangea border at the farm in Bedford, it made sense to transfer the plants there.
1 I started planting hydrangea bushes several years ago in this border garden across from the chicken coops, near the Maple Avenue house.
2 Hydrangeas are long-lived, extremely vigorous shrubs that offer lavish and varied blooms all summer long and even into autumn.
3 In addition to the familiar mophead varieties, there are also hydrangeas that bloom in lovely lacecaps. Hydrangeas come in shades of white, cream, pink, blue, purple, and even red.
4 Because we planned on adding more bushes, Ryan wanted to tidy up the existing shrubs.
5 He inspected the canes and removed only those that were old, dead, or diseased.
6 Many hydrangeas bloom on second year growth, so it's important to keep those canes if you want blooms.
7 To tidy up, Ryan snipped off canes that only had spent flowers and no signs of regrowth for this season.
8 The dead canes are easy to distinguish because they are rather light in color.
9 The dead canes were snipped at the base of the plant.
10 There was a lot of dead wood to remove.
11 When a hydrangea gets old and woody, it usually produces smaller blooms.
12 Regular removal of a few of the oldest canes at the soil line can keep the shrub vigorous, helping it produce larger and more abundant flowers.
13 This was a large job, so Ryan enlisted Wilmer's help.
14 These are the hydrangeas that were dug up from my garden in East Hampton.
15 About thirty plants in all were transferred.
16 For easy transport, the hydrangeas were pruned down to half their size and bagged with a small amount of dirt left around their roots.
17 After Ryan positioned the hydrangeas in their final locations, Wilmer began digging holes.
18 The holes were dug to accommodate the plants' vigorous root systems.
19 Each hole was fed with a scoop of Bio-tone to help the roots get off to a good start.
20 The hydrangeas were lowered into the holes.
21 Wilmer carefully checked that each plant was level in its hole.
22 He filled in with soil.
23 And he made certain that the plants were packed down to keep them place during this transition period.
24 Wilmer, a proud new father of a baby son, smiles a lot lately and loves his work.
25 After a season or two of becoming established, these hydrangeas should be blooming prolifically and I can't wait!