Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring

Photos of new growth in the gardens …

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Have a gorgeous day!

For more on the photo challenge …

The Next Big Chore

I managed to get our roses bushes pruned a few weeks ago, which was a little early for pruning, but I wanted to get the yard spruced up for a wedding. Now the next big chore is pruning the rest of our shrubs: hydrangeas*, crape myrtles, several varieties of spirea, viburnums, sand cherries, beauty berries, boxwoods, mugo pines, cedars and junipers. No wonder that it seems like a lot to do! 

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This is a hydrangea grandiflora paniculata which blooms best with severe blooming in the spring. It is definitely worth the work!

* Note, spring-blooming hydrangeas should be pruned after blooming. Those that bloom in summer and autumn should be pruned in spring.

Dappled Sunlight

This is Hydrangea Grandiflora Paniculata “White Diamond” in early morning sunlight.  (The purple flowers in the background are fragrant phlox.) Once my “diamonds” come into full bloom, I feel like summer, though not over, is starting to wind down and that I had better remember to enjoy the rest of summer while it lasts.

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Orange on the Block

Looking for early signs of autumn, I decided to photograph the color orange in our neighborhood. It turns out that it was mostly in our own front yard.

Our neighbor’s crabapple tree with the tiniest fruit …

Miniature rose recovering from the summer’s heat by producing a perfectly formed little bud …
Oakleaf hydrangea foliage starting to turn …

Rust-colored chrysanthemums …

“Living Easy” rose, vibrant as ever …

Our new sign …

Leaves from our Linden tree, fallen before fulling turning …

Pyracantha berries across the street …

Early pumpkins …

But don’t let me rush things!

 

Hydrangeas Living on the Edge

At the edge of our next door neighbor’s property, just touching ours, are two hydrangeas. Jean – a previous owner of that property  and the woman who planted these bushes – told me that they are Nikko Blues.*  To show their intended color, Nikko Blues require applications of acidic fertilizer when they are grown in alkaline soils such as we have in Kansas. Unless the ph of the soil is lowered, the color of Nikko Blues is unstable, ranging all the way over to dark pink. No one fertilizes the bushes next door anymore. Nevertheless, they have a beauty of their own. Unlike their showy true blue relations, these are subtle and sweet-looking, blooming away in the shade. The photos below are ones that I took yesterday. They are all of flower clusters on the same bush.

* To be honest, I am not certain that these are Nikko Blue Hydrangea bushes, though I am inclined to trust Jean. I have been reading up on the subject on hydrangea identification and am thoroughly confused. These are most definitely not Oakleaf, Lacecap or Annabelle Hydrangeas – which leaves Mopheads and Paniculatas. (Nikko Blues are Mopheads.) The leaf formation rules out the Paniculata family; but the flowers open white and then turn a pale pink or blue, which would seem to rule out the Mophead family. Plus they don’t seem to have a full “mophead” – though I suppose this could be due to growing conditions. If anyone has any thoughts on identifying these bushes, I would be happy to know them. We have 6 hydrangeas in our yard, but I don’t consider myself an expert hydrangeas at large. Whether Nikko Blues or something else, I am always happy to see these bushes in bloom.

Photos From Master Gardener Tour

Sunday was a busy day.  Fortunately, I was able to make it to the local garden tour organized by  Riley County (Kansas) Extension Master Gardeners. I was only able to visit three of the wonderful gardens before having to make it home to check-in guests, but I did get some nice photos that I hope you will enjoy! (By the way, if anyone has suggestions as to how to present the photos in my posts, I am open to advice. I had received some comments early on in my blog that my photos took too long to load. So I have been saving them as smaller files, but sometimes they appear a little grainy.)