Blooming in spring and summer, the hydrangea is considered a shrub. But despite their ability to be rather large showstoppers in your yard, how to grow hydrangeas isn’t a question even the novice gardener will need to ask – these beauties all but grow themselves. Reaching up to 15 feet in height, the hydrangea grows quickly and often fills in a space in just one summer. You’ll find hydrangeas growing in hardiness Zones 3 to 7 as perennials. With flowers starting in spring and often last throughout summer into early fall, hydrangea flowers can be the foundation plant of your landscape.
Plant this Looking for a flowering shrub with zing? Try hydrangea ‘Kardinal Violet’. On acidic soil, its flowers are violet and purple; on neutral or alkaline soil, they are pink. Bred to flower all summer, at 1.5m x 1.5m it is compact enough for most gardens. It likes a moist spot in full sun or partial shade.
Hydrangea Aspera Sargentiana
Sun tolerance: partial sun Bloom size: 8″ plus Mature size (feet): 10 x 10
Hydrangea sargentiana, knows as Sargent’s hydrangea, is an upright, rounded, deciduous shrub
Best grown in rich, evenly moist, well-drained soils in part shade. Tolerates full sun only if grown with consistently moist soils.
Add aluminum sulfate to the soil to make the flowers bluer or add lime to the soil to make the flowers pinker. Soil treatments should be commenced well in advance of flowering. Flowers bloom on old wood. Prune after flowering by cutting back the flowering stems to a pair of healthy buds. Prune out weak or winter-damaged stems in early spring.
Here’s a great tip from the organic gardening channel MIGardener. He shows how to flick your tomato flowers to increase your harvest from about 25% to about 100%. What would be some other great plants to try this method with?
When digging a hole for your roses, size matters and is a key factor in giving them a great start.
Whether you’re planting container roses or bare-root roses, you will need to dig a hole that is both wide enough to accomodate the root structure. Having your hole deep enough is paramount to good drainage.
Give at least three feet of space between your rose bushes when planting to allow for room to grow as your plants mature.
One of the most joyous times of year is during the first days of spring when you can watch your garden come to life. Fragrance is bursting forth from beautifully coloured beds and the chirping of happy little birds and lush greenery are all around you.
A springtime garden is a real delight, so full of life and potential, however, there’s also a bit of work involved in maintaining a healthy, beautiful garden so here are some great spring gardening tips.
After winter, you may find that your raised beds are now filled with mud, vegetation laying on the ground needs to be cleaned up and your tools may need a thorough cleaning.
Before starting any large tasks, make sure to check your inventory. Figure out what you have on hand make a list of what you need. This is a great time to stock up on supplies as there may be spring gardening sales near you. Creating a list will help keep you on track and prevent over-buying of things you may not need.
Examine and care for your raised beds.
After winter, your beds may need to be repaired or even replaced. Check to see if there’s anything left alive in them and clear out any dead plants and leaves. Make sure to remove all the weeds and prune overgrown shrubs. Early spring is the best time to work on your raised beds to make sure they will be fresh and ready for planting. This is also the time to Divide your perennials if they’re getting to big. Simply dig them up and divide them. If you have extra, you can give them to your friends, family or neighbors. It’s a nice way to share your gardening experience and you just never know what you might get in return.
Planting, sorting and preparing.
Your ground may be too soggy to plant in right now. If that’s the case, use this time to organize. Sort your plants, cuttings and seeds. Decide which you will plant first, maybe even mark the planting locations on paper or actually at each location with a marker. Kudos to you if you already had your seeds sorted into warm and cold weather categories so you don’t need to do it now, in the spring.
Once your soil is dry enough, start planting your spring cool weather plants. There are many choice when it comes to planting in the spring, including kale, lettuce, radish, broccoli, spinach and peas just to name a few. Remember to use your organic compost to add important nutrients to your soil.
Since seeds are less expensive than plants, you can save some money by planting warm weather plants, indoors and then relocated to the garden once it warms up. These warm weather plants include cucumbers, runner beans, tomatoes, peppers and melons just to name a few.
Repair damage from pests.
Look for mounds of soil which could be indicative of gopher and mole tunnels. Fill in the holes and collapse all the tunnels. Reseed with grass and keep checking to make sure these pests don’t return. Check also for rodents that may have gnawed on your wood, wires, strings and ropes. Also check your bags for chewed holes. Check to make sure pests haven’t moved into your birdhouses.
How are your garden stones structures doing?
After a long winter, take some time to examine your garden stones. Are the stepping stones in your pathway uneven, are there cracks or missing stones in your walls? Do you have tumbling or crooked dry stacked stone walls? Right now is the best time to repair or replace these stone structures.
Take care of your birdhouses.
Spring is a great time of year to clean out your birdhouses. Make sure there’s no mold, mildew or parasites living in them and make sure they are firmly attached and in good condition. If you want to be really helpful, you can leave some piles of nesting material near the birdhouses, which will surely make our feathered friends happy. After you take care of the birdhouses, make sure you don’t neglect the bird feeders and bird baths. These should be scrubbed and carefully examined.
Proper gardening can be a very rewarding, year round endeavor, however here are some ideas for springtime gardening chores:
Remove debris from ponds and other water features.
Clean gutters to facilitate proper plant to water disbursement.
Remove dead wood from trees.
Remove suckers from shrubbery and trees.
Cut perennials back to almost to ground level.
Remove parasites from trees and shrubs.
This is the time to move or plant dormant shrubs and trees.
Scrub out your pots.
Check hoses for leaks, kinks and clogs.
Here are some more simple tips for springtime gardening:
Rotate your crops. This reduces crop specific diseases from building up in the soil and keeps the soil from being depleted of certain nutrients the previous plants thrived on.
Avoid gardening in the rain or walking on wet ground. Doing so can cause the ground to become compacted, ruining the structure of your soil which can cause your roots to suffocate.
When planting rows, run them north to south to allow your crop equal exposure to the sun.
Remember, to use care when digging early in the season as some of your perennials may be slow to appear and difficult to see.
Plant half of your vegetable rows now and the rest a couple of weeks later so you don’t get overwhelmed when it’s time to harvest.
Wondering what UK gardening zone you’re in? Here’s a helpful list of gardening hardiness zones from PlantMaps.com
We are Cowen Landscapes, and landscape gardening and design is our passion. We’d love to speak with you about your garden and landscaping needs in Kent. https://www.cowenlandscapes.co.uk Please give us a call or send us a message.
01622 320277 The Old Dairy, Court Farm, Thurnham Lane, Maidstone, ME14 3LH