Mid Winter purchases

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

I said I wasn't going to purchase much this winter. It didn't exactly work out that way. I also said I wasn't going to get any more hydrangeas. So here is what I ordered:
macrophylla sharona
macrophylla eisvogel
macrophylla enziandom
quercifolla alice
I was wondering if anyone has any advice on the likes/dislikes of these varieties.

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

That seems to be a problem this time of the year venu209, isn't it? Ha! I wonder if all those catalogues mailed this time of year influence such behaviour? Nah! You bought some good hydrangeas. Here are some comments.

Enziandom is one of the best "blue" hydrangeas in acidic soil but, sigh, will start turning pink in alkaline soils with a pH around 6 to 6.5 (light pink and then deeper pink if more alkaline). So off I go to get more soil acidifiers.....

Alice is good thru Zone 5 but does not, really does NOT like places that will get its roots wet. Ditto for all quercifolias so choose soil that is well draining. I lost an established one due to unusually heavy rains from March to May-June two years ago. And the location never actually flooded (above ground) or anything like that. It was just too much moisture for too many months under ground. Think about 1-3" of rain three times a week.

Eisvogel, of european origin, blooms early in the South and is very handy to use for dry flower arrangements.

This message was edited Feb 7, 2009 6:19 AM

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

Thanks so much luis! My soil is naturally acidic but I add some AS to ensure the blue.
Alice should like it here! I have very fast draining soil, which can be problematic for the other hydrangeas.
Sorry to hear about all the rain. I've been suffering summer droughts the past two years. Why can't Mom Nature spread it out a bit more evenly?

The winter catalogues are the death knell for my checking account ;)

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

I would be in the same boat had I not exhausted most places to plant a hydrangea. I actually have three camellias and one azalea growing in plastic black pots because I have not found a good place to put them in. Oh well.... Lack of a part shaded spot at least prevents me from buying more plants.

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

Luis, if you never find the right spot for your camellias and azalea, there is a buyer in NJ waiting!

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Hee hee hee! Very good reply. But let me give you a hint of close I am to your 'I am not going to get any more hydrangeas' edict.

Those plants that I mentioned that are still in their black plastic containers? Well, I bought them in December 2008. Tsk, tsk, tsk... shame on me too. I went to a local nursery and found a camellia I had been locally hunting for a long time and then discovered a nice fall foliage azalea specimen. Loved the way that the azalea leaves looked so much in the fall that I was sold on the spot, with no idea what the eventual blooms will look like.

Oh well...

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'm giving in to a few more, Louise. I'll return when (if) I make final decisions but it looks as though Hallosan and Jogasaki are at the top.

Of course I have no room so maybe it's time for that silly driveway to go!

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Suuuuure, get rid of the big ole silly driveway. And while you are it, try transplanting those big trees into your garden.... you know? the ones you keep seeing here and there? the ones who would provide much instant afternoon shade for yet more plants? Hee hee hee. Yeah, right.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Sounds good to me, luis!

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

Don't you just love how some things magically jump onto your wagon.

Pirl, you've been threatening that driveway for awhile now. It would make a nice new garden!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Too sunny for hydrangeas but I can dream, can't I?

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

Not too sunny for Irises.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

True. I just want my irises so close I can see them from every window so they have to be close to the house.

Of course, I guess I could add on to the house...

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

yea, what the heck, you would be stimulating the economy

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

So now we are talking about getting rid of the driveway a-n-d adding on to Pirl's house? And this all started from a small and innocent looking list of purchased items? Remind me to leave my wallet home if I ever meet you guys personally! Yipe$$$$. Hee hee hee. :o))

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Yesterday I was talking with one of my doctors and a few nurses and mentioned I had been out gardening and cleaned up four beds already. The doctor was amazed and couldn't get over having four beds of flowers. I told him I had 26 gardens to go. Guess he's not a gardener because he asked, "Why?". Why not?

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

It always seems to start small and innocent, doesn't it?

Silly doctor.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Yes. For me it started with the post light garden. Now when I look back to my total innocence I do laugh! This is what pleased me in 1991.

Now, more than 2,000 daylilies later, numerous JI's, hydrangeas, lilies, window boxes, etc. I look to expand more.

Thumbnail by pirl
Sealy, TX

Hi, pirl - I'm a new "kid" on the block! I totally understand what you mean about the start - it's turned into an obsession for me, also. When we moved out to 8 acres four years ago I felt like I'd died and gone to garden heaven! My biggest problem? Not nearly enough $$$ to do everything I want to do when I want to do it. Something I'm sure my poor husband's back is very glad of! haha! I'd lived in subdivisions while raising our kids and finally I have room to plant whatever I want - actually whatever I can afford! I'm trying to figure out where to start with the hydrangea gardens. Sometimes too much open space/canvas can be it's own problem.
Deb

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Felt the same way when we left our homes on 60 x 100 behind and bought this house on 1/2 acre. It was just SO much space to us. As we grow older the land seems to grow.

Have fun with the planning!

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

Jeez, Pirl, even your modest beginning is very pretty.

Welcome dstarr and good luck with your gardening adventures.

Sealy, TX

Thanks for the encouragement Pirl and Venu209. My husband bought me a gorgeous and huge Nun's Orchid for Valentine's Day. I'm also an orchid "wannabe" person. And Hostas and Roses and cactus and.... guess you get the idea, Huh?

Happy Valentine's day to everyone!
Deb

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Enjoy it! I'm sure you will.

I did get beautiful flowers and Ensata Gardens went online for 2009 today so they'll be an additional gift.

Thumbnail by pirl
Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

From the sounds of it, I may have lucked out. A relative of my sister's husband passed away several years ago and I thought about buying the property. The house was small for my needs but it had a total of about 2 acres. Plenty of room for the three dogs to roam outside but I did not want to mess around with additions to the house or even rebuilding the house from scratch so I did nothing. Whew! If I had bought it, I would have ended up in charge of the gardens on all 2 acres and my back would have never been the same! :o)

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Good job in evading that burden, Luis.

We had the chance to buy the house next door with a lot more property but we stayed put and I'm thrilled as well. Some people find clothes shrink with each passing year but property maintenance seems to grow.

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

I've watched my lawn shrink!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Now, now, Louise. That's a good thing. Think of all the gas you'll save by not having to have the lawn mowed as much. Lots quieter, too, with more plants and less mowing.

Sealy, TX

Well, I must say, I wish we'd been able to get this "little piece of Texas heaven" about 15 years earlier! But I guess the old addage "better late than never" sums it up for my husband and I. He looks at the labor as his exercise program. I look at it as a way to finally be able to dig in the dirt as much as I want to! haha! And I am a big fan of the "naturalistic" look! My husband's the one that thinks it should all be "manicured" looking - but I think he'll be coming around soon!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'm married to someone who loves to edge and loves the look but with the years (and begging) I have convinced him not to edge by the 100' long border of daylilies. It shreds the leaves. Little by little they do see the light and ease up on the manicured look.

Working outside is my exercise program as well. I'm never happier than when I'm in the garden working (or taking a break).

I agree 100% with "better late than never".

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

I'm not complaining about the shrinking lawn, although I do like some grass. There is less mowing but more edging. Could you send Jack down here?
dstarr, keep the natural look. Edging is the one gardening task that I dislike.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

We both like grass, too, Louise. It's soft, comfortable, cool and looks pretty. I'm trying to wean him off edging, not going to encourage him to edge anything anywhere! I don't mind edging with my scissors at all. It lets me know where I finished working for the day but in my wildest dreams I wouldn't consider doing every bed every week.

Sealy, TX

I'm with you, Pirl! I do think losing my job in October has actually been good for me! I had no idea how much stress I was under every day - managing an Imaging Dept. at a hospital in Houston - and I'm having so much fun being able to go out into the gardens whenever I want and "play". I'm even losing a little weight in the deal. My husband and I visited Ima Hogg's estate in Houston last week (yep, real person, real name) and there's pretty much NO edging anywhere. They have dwarf and regular Mondo Grass around the beds, etc. I've convinced him that we could do that and it would really look great. Now we just need the money to purchase the plants - hundreds and hundreds of them! The down side to losing my job - no $$$ to do what I now have time to do in my gardens!
Deb

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Losing a job can be a double edged sword. At least you can plan for what you'd like to eventually plant and that's a big head start. So many of us fanatics buy first and then wonder where we'll put the plants. I do it much too often.

Good luck with the job scene as well as the garden. Being outdoors is a great stress reducer and great for the body as well.

Sealy, TX

Sorry - I kind of dropped off for awhile, huh? I have to admit I'm very much a member of the "gotta have it - now where do I put it" club! I've come up with some pretty interesting plants that way. And guess what? I'm in a smaller jean size! Whoopeee! It's dragging that darned hose from the east gardens all the way over to the west gardens, I guess. What a way to lose weight!

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

Losing weight while doing something you love is the best way to lose some inches! I'm in your club "gotta have it" also. That's why I rate my designing abilities very low. Now Pirl, on the other hand, has mastered the gotta have it with designing abilities. Her gardening skills are what I aspire to!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the compliments but right now I'm working on three orders and two projects and it's overwhelming.

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

I've seen your work.....I know it's gorgeous.

Sealy, TX

Hi, all!
I wish I had some of Pirl's designing skill. I have to admit, I'm constantly thinking of where to put what, when, why, how - guess ya'll get the drift! I scour all the landscape design articles, etc trying to find the "aha!" design, but so far not alot of help. I was okay with a smaller suburban yard, but the expanse is at times over-whelming!

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Have you checked the Garden Design Forum? You could post pictures of the area to be developed and then ask for ideas and suggestions. Go here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/landscaping/all/

I have not checked out this forum but based on the name only, I figure they could help you out.

This message was edited Mar 9, 2009 2:35 PM

Sealy, TX

That's a great idea! I'll do that. Now, where did I put that camera?

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