I have a typical urban lot so it isn't terribly large overall, plus it's all broken up into many small beds by various pathways and hardscape. I grow only a few hydrangeas as water is non-existent and expensive in the summer here in coastal Northern CA. OTOH, I just picked the last 'Sun Goddess' and 'Endless Summer' hydrangeas, along with a lone calla lily (they're just starting to bloom) and a 'Delany Sisters' rose that escaped the recent winter rains. I really like how the hydrangeas start to shade to green as they age; it adds an unexpected color to the vase.
The last hydrangeas for 2009
They're beautiful! Our summers have been so dry here (with this year being the exception), it's been tough to keep my Hydrangeas happy. Hoping they rebound after the wet year.
How do you contend with them? Do you have them among other moisture lovers to keep from having to water so much area?
gemini_sage, I group the moisture lovers together and water everything on soaker hoses. We have very bad adobe clay soil here, so when installing the garden we had the first 6-8" dug out and top quality compost put in. The compost is gradually being used up, but yearly mulching helps conserve moisture and provide nutrients. Our temps are very moderate in summer, so a deep soak every 2-3 weeks is sufficient.
jkom, Those are really lovely bouquets. I didn't think people grew Mopheads in Cal, because of the water restrictions.
People in California can grow practically anything- its just not fair, LOL.
LOL, Gemini, I have a friend, who is a wonderful gardener, from LA visit me. She was totally amazed at my Mopheads. She couldn't believe they were Hydrangeas. She said nothing like that grew in LA.
It's hard to grow acid loving plants in Southern CA because the water is very alkaline. Plus, a lot of gardeners forget that the native soil is also quite poor and without enrichment, plants like hydrangeas, pieris, and azaleas/rhodies just won't do well, even near the coast where temps are more moderate. These plants can do well in coastal CA north or south but they do need more attention to siting and feeding/watering requirements than many of the other plants that are 'standards' out here. CA is high desert country.
We composted on clay soil.
I asked a DG'er how long the neutrients would last,she said 3-5 years.
Just lovely. I love the green and pink one with a little blue on top, on the right. Like it doesn't know which way to go, but I love them when they're like that.
It isn't that difficult to grow Hydrangeas, Azaleas and other acid loving plants in So. Calif., especially in the coastal environs and even the San Fernando and Simi Valleys.
Mophead hydrangeas thrive here if given protection from afternoon summer heat.
Not every area of So. Cal. has difficult clay soil, (although many do), but it can be easily ammended to grow azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, etc. if very coarse ammendment is added and maintained.
All my hydrangeas and azaleas are planted in solid peat moss and they do extremely well. The acidity of the soil remains constant that way, even though our water is alkaline.
Many areas of So. Cal. are old former riverbed areas with ideal soil for growing many acid loving plants.
Ooohhhh, I LOVE Vanilla Strawberry! It looks like a peegee type, which are so reliable here!
Isn't that beautiful! I don't have that one. I normally buy from Spring Meadows, and I think that's a Baily intro. It is a paniculata one, Neal. Wouldn't that look beautiful with Limelight?
I found it in the Jung Seeds & Plants catalog that I just got in the mail. I am going to send for one. Cost $19.95 plus shipping. It says it is a 2 year old plant that is 12 - 15 inches and will be shiped bareroot.
Thanks for the warning. I'll have to think about it than.
Please tell us how it does for you - it is indeed gorgeous.