Friday, July 30, 2010

In Bloom


Over the last couple of years I have really gotten into our yard. Cody would think that I have just created more work for him but I did pull weeds last week. :) The sunflower above is taller than the fence but for some reason the blooms aren't as big as they were supposed to be. This was my first year with them and it was a learning experience. I planted them a little late so I can't wait to do it right next spring. The picture below was taken last August after we planted all of these plants in our back yard. See the plant in the middle with the purple blooms?
This is it one year later:

Ummmmmm, it is actually covering another plant. Oops! If you want a fast growing pretty plant then I would suggest a butterfly bush. When I water in the evening it has about 20+ butterflies on it. Very pretty. You can click on the picture below to see three butterflies on one bloom.

Of course my favorite plant is my limelight hydrangea. Katie at Harrington House introduced me to these last year and it has doubled in size in one year. She says that some of hers are taller than her. Another fast growing, beautiful plant.

She has great success in drying hers but mine seem to wilt in my vases after several days. I'm not sure if I can do anything different? My regular lacecap hydrangeas last forever in vases.

My pots have really grown and that one potato vine is taking over.
My parents brought us some cannas this spring and they are now so tall. I love the yellow flower.
I have a couple of questions for the gardening experts. Since y'all told me my hydrangeas from THIS post are lacecap hydrangeas I was wondering if it is okay to cut off the old blooms. They have turned white and are now starting to turn brown. Also, I was told my knockout roses are "self-cleaning" does that mean I should not trim off the old blooms? Or is it okay to cut them? One last question, can I trim my butterfly bush back this fall/winter so it is not so big next summer? If so, when is the best time? Thanks so much!!

17 comments:

julie & joe said...

You plants look beautiful! My butterfly bush hasn't grown quite that fast but it gets shade for much of the day.

Brittany said...

I don't trim off my dead knock out rose heads, but my grandma does, and it is fine. I do trim my entire bush back once a year, and they grow back huge the next. I usually do it in late winter or early spring. Also, my neighbor has a butterfly bush that is HUGE, and he trims it back and it is fine. Don't know much about the hydrangeas, though! In TX, you can dig up the sweet potato from the sweet potato vine, plant it in a bed, and it will come back the next year. Mine are still coming back from 5 years ago.

duchess said...

Your yard is beautiful. We have about six butterfly bushes & they do grow quickly.
You definitely have a green thumb -good job.

christina said...

My mom taught me this about hydrangeas- if you take one of the stems (still attached to the plant) and arc it over into the ground, then put a small stone on it to keep it going into the ground...you will have a new bloom next year. From one stem, I have a HUGE hydrangea bush growing now. Try it in the fall and see if you get a new one next year.

hi-d said...

Hey Shannon,
Beautiful flowers. It looks like you got some answers to your questions. But in regards to the Lacecap Hydrangeas, you want to trim them no later than July, (You have until tomorrow...ha ha) according to this site: http://www.ehow.com/how_5143278_prune-lacecap-hydrangeas.html
Check it out...good info. :)

hi-d said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hi-d said...

oops...I wanted to clarify...pruning for those lacecaps shouldn't be done later than July. But, you can trim off the old blossoms, as long as you're not cutting super long stems.

Emily Richardson said...

I am ABSOLUTELY no gardner expert- except on how to kill things:), but I trimmed my butterfly bush back last year (whoever planted it put it at the entrance of our garage so we are attacked by bees and butterflies whenever we get out of the car) and it only came back bigger!!!! So if you figure out how to make it smaller please let me know:). Also, how's the painting?

Happiness Is... said...

I love sunflowers - have some on my coffee table right now! I can't wait until we own a house with a yard and can experiment with plants!

Anonymous said...

I have 2 butterfly bushes which I completely cut down to the ground. They grow back amazingly well!

Meg said...

I love your plants-so pretty! The butterfly bush is my favorite! I don't think I have ever seen one before, but that is the neatest!

Anonymous said...

Hydrangeas bloom on old wood, so one should never cut back the entire plant (I did once, that's how I know...It came back the next summer as huge as ever, but no blooms. However,it did bloom the following summer)

I cut off all my dead blooms once everything is brown and gross. I just cut off the bloom, not a long stem. Then, in the spring when the new leaves start popping out, I cut out all the dead wood (anything w/out leaves) My plant is about 15 years old though, so I probably have a lot more dead wood than you!

I am no gardener but this method has worked well for my bush. It's a Nikko Blue or Blue Nikko (can't remember which!:) and I love it. It always goes thru 3 stages of color (w/out doing anything to the soil) First is that lime green, like you're beautiful plant. Then, it's the blue/ purple. In the fall it turns a deep burgandy red. I learned about it years ago in the Martha Stewart mag. and I love it.

Love your yard Shannon!
maddie

The Photo Goo said...

Shannon-the yard is looking SO good. I might have to plant some lime lights next spring. I love sunflowers too; they're happy plants. We'll have to plan a visit to see ya'll soon!

Wendy said...

I am absolutely no gardener, but I do have some success in my garden. I never really trim my dead knock out heads, but I do cut back my butterfly bush. It comes back bigger the next year. I love it so much I just moved the other plants that were around it. Good luck!

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Your hard work is paying off! Your yard looks beautiful!

Katie said...

Beautiful! I have always wanted to grow sunflowers but never have. They look so happy and summer-y. The heads on your limelight look great. One of mine is taller than the corner of my front porch...you can see it from the second story window peaking up over the roof! It's 4 years old. So pretty! I bought another paniculata that is supposed to be as easy grow as the limelights...only it is white....I'm excited for next year!

~Jamie Kubeczka~ said...

What a beautiful garden you have!