Monday, June 25, 2012

Flowers Around The House


When I was getting the house ready for the photoshoot last summer, I hired a neighbor's son to remove all the grass and weeds from my lame front yard and plant a row of hydrangea across the front of the porch and mulch the entire area.  We discussed Limelight or Annabelle but I came home to find blue Endless Summer.  I've never loved the blue variety on anything but a shingled cottage by the sea but I didn't have time to do anything about it.


I thought I might move them to the side yard this year but after seeing how well they're performing,
I have to admit they're kind of growing on me.



One of them that was a very pale blue last year seems totally white this year.


And one mutant group of flowers is totally different than the other.  The petals are much larger and the centers are blue.  How weird is nature?



I also love the variation in color.  Some are speckled with white and others lean toward purple.



In the side garden, a lone volunteer hollyhock is putting on a great show.



And I always love the contrast of the daisies against the Japanese maple.


When I went to the garden center to look for things for the planters at the front door, I just couldn't find anything that moved me.  I walked around, filled up my cart and then emptied it and started from scratch.  I ended up with coleus, some kind of begonia, an oxalis and licorice plant.  It's a little darker than I was hoping for but it's something a little different.

I'm linking up with Jane's Small But Charming flower in the house party.
Stop by and say hi.

53 comments:

  1. Love your hydrangea! And the daisies are so sweet. I actually don't see them often in gardens. They are my mother-in-law's favorite flower.
    Claudia

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  2. Your blue hydrangea are crossbreeds and your white/blue hydrangea is simply trying to go back to its roots and I think it's way cool. Our blue hydrangea haven't bloomed yet but soon.

    Enjoy your week Steve!
    XX
    Debra~

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  3. If I arrived home and found my front yard full of endless summer I would do a little dance of joy. I love them blues.:-)

    In a matter of months they would be mauve anyway....they I would be sorry.

    Your garden looks fantastic. I can't get enough dark tones this summer so I'm particularly fond of your planters and that hollyhock.

    Ordered my book, should be here this week!

    xo Jane

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  4. Your hydrangeas looks awesome:).

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  5. I have always felt like that lone hollyhock:). Doing my thing. Hee haw. Living in the south we love our hydrangea. They are so darn ugly in the winter though.

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  6. I love the white in your hydrangea! Mine have gone crazy this year, and range in color from a deep pink to purple. Love hydrangeas!

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  7. Steve,
    The flowers in your garden look so healthy and beautiful. We had a severe thunderstorm / microburst last friday with torrential rain, hail, and strong winds. Lots of trees down and power outages in the DC area. All of my hydrangeas (in full bloom) have snapped or flattened. Same for my daisies. Love your foliage container on the porch. Well done.
    Loi

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  8. I love hydrangeas. Yours look fabulous. I thought that my husband hated them and that was the reason we don't have any. Apparently, he just didn't feel like planting any, lol.

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  9. I always associated blue hydrangeas with the Jersey shore and (better) the grey shingle houses of Nantucket and the Cape, where the blue looks splendid against the grey. They have grown on me though. I love a bunch of them in a rustic pitcher, and they can make a solitary pink rose nestled among them look like a princess.

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  10. Hi Steve. What garden center to you usually go to? I'd love for you so stop by Village Green if you're ever in the mood for a drive. We are in Norwood, right at the beginning of the automile on Rt. 1. If you are ever looking for anything specific, let me know!

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  11. Love the soft blue of your hydrangeas, and I'm such a sucker for daisies.

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  12. Annabelle and Limelight are both wonderful hydrangeas. This year, the hydrangeas are doing AMAZINGLY well - never had so many blooms as I do now. Maybe you move them next year - but glad they are growing on you (was that a little pun you had going there?)

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  13. Great planter. I am thinking about some automatic watering for planters - mine always get brutalized by lack of attention.

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  14. I love your hydrangeas! I think they're gorgeous and so is everything else. The planters are so different from the usual. So nice.

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  15. Been missing your posts! This one is so fun too as I am getting ready to show my hydrangea, planted in a row on either side of the porch, also "Endless Summer." They are doing so well after just one year that they make the whole yard.
    Cheers,
    Jacqueline

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  16. Oh, and I am desperate for that almost black hollyhock you have - I have been saving a spot for it on the end, but can't seem to find it at any of the nurseries here.

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  17. Steve,
    Your hydrangeas and the photographs of them are simply amazing! I think I would be pretty happy with "Endless Summer"...did not know they were called that...but whatever, they are stunning. Love the daisy plants against the rich color of the Japanese Maple and your front porch pots filled with Coleus and trailing licorice. I used to do all my window boxes with variations of this against a white house. I can't wait to garden again back east.
    annie

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  18. I love the blue and white together. If you would prefer all white I read somewhere that you, not treat your soil with anything. My mother always planted coleus and the deep burgundy color is gorgeous.

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  19. very beautiful photographs and i think the dark pot turned out perfectly

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  20. I absolutely adore your front door pot- that, in my book, is perfection! Love dark plantings and the contrast with the licorice plant! I'm one of those strange people who try as I might don't "love" blue hydrangeas. I'm trying to find one (for Dan who loves them) for a spot at our entrance, but can't find the subtle blue I would like to see there. I did plant some Endless Summer Blushing Bride (white) on the other side of entrance way, but they're not blooming yet. Your garden looks lovely! Enjoy this rain!
    joan

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  21. I love Blue and white with some splash of red here and there in my garden, thought I added some orange and they look so oriental together..lol.. I think(I may be wrong but this is what I read everywhere) if you add lime they will get pinkish and if you add sulfur they will get blue. I would have loved to have them in my garden. Such JOY!
    Huli

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  22. The name alone is so great: "Endless Summer..."

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  23. Are you going to propagate the mutant? Hydrangeas aren't difficult (though I have been having trouble finding the white lace-caps I have set my heart on, maybe not a West Coast thing).

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  24. Why don't I get volunteer Hollyhocks? Except for the invasive Lungwort, it's mostly weeds.

    I like Nikko Blue. Yours looks a bit periwinkle which turns so nicely in the late summer.

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  25. Hydragneas as one of my favorite flowers and yours look beautiful! I have had teh same experiece with the hydragneas in my yard - all planted in a row yet some are pink others blue and some even seem to be a bit purple.

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  26. hi steve

    my inner landscape designer is out.

    your varieties are macrophylla and within that family there are 100's of variations. depending on the soil, even next to each other, they can sway from blue to pink to burgundy, not white. the whites are another form of macrophylla, they goofed. that being said, i think all looks stunning!
    debra

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  27. Oh I love hydrangeas so much. Your hollyhock is just too sweet. (The color is amazing!) I think your planter came out quite pretty- although I do have a thing for the darker colors. It makes me feel better to know that I am not the only one to fill up a cart with flowers-change my mind and then reload with a whole different group!

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  28. Hi Steve, I've hopped along from Jane's blog, having a look at all these gorgeous flowers. I thought I had joined up some time ago to your blog my mistake. Anyway I'm here now, hello:) Your flowers photos are wonderful those daisies really do look spectacular in front of the Acer and those cool blue hydrangea are beautiful.

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  29. Limelight and Annabelle are two of my favorites, but I cannot grow them in FL. I planted Endless Summer last year, since they are supposed to grow here. Not magnificent yet, but I am attempting to be optimistic so I planted several more this year. The jury is out.
    Your hydrangeas look wonderful. Maybe if they continue to whiten, you will like them better, although they look beautiful now. Limelight grows very quickly and very large, so they may have been too big for the front of your house anyway.
    Best...Victoria

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  30. Victoria,
    I think you're right that they would have been too large.
    S.

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  31. I have an Endless Summer Hydrangea, I love the colors once it begin fading. Mine turn an almost ocean blue (green). The garden is looking good! Bonnie

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  32. Again, thank you for the kind comments on my post about my nephews art! He's doing a OOB, Maine piece for me!

    With that said, I LOVE Endless summer, I have 8 of them in our home in MA! Like you said, they do very well and some of the mop-heads are huge!

    If you're looking for small white & compact, check out Little Lamb, I have them at the cottage in OOB along our back fence. Along the side of the cottage we planted Pinky Winky, it sort of lacy and airy, and it reddens in the Autumn, very pretty.

    I really like your front door planter, I'm a huge fan of coleus!

    Have a great week!

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  33. I've always had a soft spot for coleus since they were my Dad's favorite plant, and they were always around when I was growing up — I know they love shade.

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  34. I don't know my hydrangea types but those blues are stunning...! And yes, I think they can revert to their roots if they are hybrids or something. I never quite understood all that in gardening 101 (learned from my grandma).

    I like the container arrangement. Very dramatic and different. I am a foliage lover almost as much as flowers and have always admired coleus. I love the pale greens with the little white flowers...reminds me of the pale perfect green of lambs' ears, etc.

    xo T.

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  35. Flower man:

    Love your blue suede shoe hydrangeas...A'int nature grand!

    Love licorice plant too...It'll be happy guarding your door.


    Signed,
    Machete girl

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  36. There's a dwarf Limelight called "Little Lime" you might want to try, though I think your blue hydrangeas are beautiful, especially with the white variations mixed in.

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  37. The entire yard is lovely. I have always been told the color of the Hydrangea is due to the acidity of the soil. I am not sure if this is correct or not. Regardless, I have not seen a hydrangea that I did not love...yours are beautiful.

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  38. Hi. Loving your garden. Mine are the lace cap ones.

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  39. I will also take the hollyhock, too. I wish I could easily grow them here. Every disease and pest south of the Mason Dixon likes them as much as I do.

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  40. You have great neighbors! (: And your plants and flowers look wonderful. Endless summer indeed!

    Hugs from Seattle.

    Mon

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  41. Most of my hydrangeas have turned a dark pink which I didn't want but are growing on me. I love your blue ones actually but I too prefer the white/limelight. Mine just don't stay white. I know I'm supposed to fool with the soil but good god, who has time?

    -Lane

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  42. Hi Steve, I am a big fan of your planter! Just stunning.

    If you don't like the blue of your hydrangeas (which I love) you can adjust the color by top dressing the soil with lime. Head to this link to find out more. We cannot grown hydrangea at all in New Mexico..the sun is too intense and the soil is not acid enough. http://www.flowersbulbs.com/ql_hydrangea_color.htm

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  43. Love your lone hollyhock--such an unusual color. I see so few hollyhocks anymore. We had a rose colored one at the back of the garage when I was growing up.

    I love any blue flower--period!

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  44. I love the blue!
    Mine are a purple. I have no idea what they were named. I call them "marked down to $4 hydrangeas"
    :D
    Everything looks so lovely and perfect in your photos.
    Sigh.
    I've been working so much that I am afraid that the weeds are moving in. It doesn't make for nice photos. Maybe I will get out there next weekend and tidy things up. I almost bought an ashtray the other day at Goodwill...but I'm holding out for a green one, to blend in with the leaves (weeds).

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  45. Love your Hydrangeas . . . I have surrounded my home with the Annabelle. (Experiencing my first lack of flowering in one section this year, puzzled . . . wondering if weather differences this spring brought the changes.)

    The lone deep purple/magenta Holly Hock is a serendipitous inclusion.

    Such a wonderful visit . . . once again.

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  46. I am a hydrangea nut and always wish I had more room to plant lots of these wonderful bushes. However, they grow wide and take up quite a bit of space, so I am limited. Endless Summer is the best of the best as they bloom on both old and new growth and can be easily pruned. The new colors that they have been coming out with every year are marvelous also.

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  47. Blue hydrangea are my fav! Just found your blog & am following!
    ~ Zuzu

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  48. The real truth is that the bloom color is dependent on the PH levels of the soil - if you want your blue blooms to become lighter (as your one that went white did) you must neutralize the aluminum in the soil.
    here is some info:
    Add dolomitic lime several times a year. This will help to raise the pH. Shoot for a pH of about 6.0 to 6.2 (If it goes above 6.4 hydrangeas may experience an iron deficiency). Since hydrangeas take up aluminum best at lower pH levels, raising the pH will help to keep the bluing effect of aluminum out of the hydrangea's system.
    Use a fertilizer with high levels of phosphorus. Phosphorus helps to prevent aluminum from creeping into the system of the hydrangea. Choose a fertilizer close to the ratio of 25/10/10 (Phosphorus is the middle number).

    but if you ask me (which you did not) I think Blue blooms are one of nature's most amazing things! There are few blue flowers!

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  49. Oh and P.S. it is not crazy to see a "bi-color" bush.
    An old wives tales says that if you plant a copper penny at the base of one - it will result in bi-color blooms on the bush!

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  50. The endless summer hydrangeas are my favorite!!!! I adore them. Mine I must move...it is not happy where I planted it. It was blue for two years an then turned pink for two and this year has not bloomed at all. What direction does this side of your house face? Mine are on the southside and do not like it. I'm going to move it to the east where it should be much happier.

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  51. I think it is unanimous, Steve. You are keeping the hydrangeas - which are gorgeous. Mine never look that good, but then mine never get enough water!

    It all looks great, especially this late in the season. thanks for sharing.

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