Sunday, March 15, 2015

Saving the MopHeads...


 For at least the past 15 years I have had these wonderful mophead hydrangeas giving color to my backyard.  The first several bushes were ordered through the mail.  I can't remember where they actually came from.  I so loved the idea that you plant them once and every year the plants bloomed in shades of blue, pink, lavender and white that I added more.   I love that I had a never ending supply of cut flowers through the summer and fall.  I love that bunches of my hydrangeas have been used for family and friends weddings, bridal showers and parties.
In recent years, I have added a few of the Endless Summer variety.  Those bushes produce flowers on new growth.  But the older varieties, like those in my backyard, 
set their blooms on the previous year's growth. 

 


But the winter of 2014 did a number on my lovely hydrangeas  The extreme cold and wind in  January, February and into March zapped the life out of the branches leaving bare bushes that had to start over by pushing new shoots up from around the base of the plants.
So one at a time, I cut back each and every branch close to
the ground.
I did not have even one bloom on any of the bushes.

I missed those flowers last summer.  I know that there are such horrible things going on in this world, and in the large scheme of things, this really wasn't earth shattering.  But I was terribly sad that my garden wasn't filled with color to enjoy as I sat on the porch every morning with my coffee before heading up to the Workshop.   My darling husband actually went out and purchased 2 large flowering hydrangeas to cheer me up.

Lou and I discussed maybe building  some sort of frame and cover for the bushes this winter.  But it wasn't until January when those below average temperatures were being predicted that we had to act quickly on that plan.  We have lots of iron pieces throughout the yard and we used them as a frame so the garden could be covered with plastic.



We held the plastic down around the edges with bricks.  On warmer days we peeled the plastic back and then recovered the bushes again at night.  I made sure the soil was moist enough that we didn't kill the plants as we tried to protect them.

So hoping that this plan worked and my lovelies will be lovely again this summer. 
We should know soon.



5 comments:

  1. Your Mopheads are so beautiful! I can fully understand why you love them.
    And to have flowers from your own garden for weddings and parties gives much happiness.
    Hoping to see lots of photos of your hydrangeas this summer...
    Have a lovely week ahead!

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  2. I wish you good luck with saving your Hydrangeas this year. Such a lovely garden.
    The weather has really played a hard ball game on your beautiful gardens but they survived.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  3. Best of luck with these blooms!

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  4. Smart girl! I hope it pays off. Your flowers are gorgeous!

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  5. Hi Pat, they look gorgeous. Hydrangeas like the ones you have bloom on old growth, so when you cut them back that stem had to harden up, and didn't produce any blossoms. I have a similar climate and the intense cold will zap mine also. In the extreme cold, first cover them with a light bed sheet, and then the plastic if that's possible. The plastic will freeze them more, the sheet is insulation.

    Looking forward to seeing them bloom in your beautiful garden this summer.

    Jen

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