Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hydrangea Heaven

I have always loved hydrangeas.  We used to have a huge old Pee Gee hydrangea growing right outside by the corner of our bedroom but sadly it went away along with the rest of the old part of our house.  I've been wanting another one ever since, but have hesitated because of all the deer that we have running around here, eating everything in sight.

Finally I broke down and bought myself a pair of Endless Summer hydrangeas and some deer spray, which actually seems to work quite well.  It stinks when you first spray it on, but then the smell goes away.  Apparently the deer can still smell it for about 3 months afterwards, so it's a pretty easy solution as long as it works.

The one we planted by our front steps is doing really well, but I neglected to plant the other one for about a week and it got dry and droopy a couple of times and died shortly after I planted it.  That'll teach me.

Then suddenly my friend JoAnn had a hydrangea that she needed to move.  It was enormous - about 4 or 5 feet across, with absolutely gorgeous blue flowers.  I had spent the summer admiring it, full of hope that one day my own little hydrangea would get that big and healthy.  It was so huge, and she couldn't figure out where else in her yard to put it, and then when it broke into four pieces while she was digging it up, she decided to offer them to me!

So I am now the proud owner of four(!) offspring of this lovely bush which are now gracing the hillside outside of my not-yet-screened-in back porch with their glorious beauty.  I can hardly wait to see them bloom and grow next summer.  And I like the fact that they remind me of JoAnn whenever I park my car in the back, which is pretty much every single day.

After we planted them I gave them a pretty hard pruning so that the root systems could establish themselves in their new location without having to work too hard to feed so many leaves and flowers.  The deer gave me some further assistance later that evening:

So we got right on spraying them with the deer spray after that.  Although hydrangeas are not the most practical choice for our location because of the deer, the fact that they'll get morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal.  I really want them to thrive.

Another less than ideal situation is the fact that they were divided and transplanted at the end of the summer when it was still quite hot.  Hydrangeas can apparently be a little delicate and sensitive during warm weather, so Doug rigged up a couple of screens to give them more shade while they adapt.  We took them down about a month later after the weather got cooler.

So now I'm just waiting and waiting and waiting until next summer to see how they do.  I'm absolutely thrilled to have ended up with an entire row of blue hydrangeas!

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