Sunday, March 22, 2015

Adding to the Shrubbery

I have dreams of replacing the persistently weedy lawn with more generous garden beds, punctuated by grassy paths and discrete dog potty areas.  Of course, to do this means adding in some strong shrubs to add depth and interest (as well as permanent plantings that eventually become low maintenance).  I plan to add gooseberries, because I like them and they are indestructible.  Nothing much can kill a gooseberry bush...

As well as more soft fruit, I want to add some flowering shrubs.  I've recently planted peonies, which die back to the ground in the fall, and next, I want to round up another cottage garden classic: the hydrangea.

I do love them, in all their casual, falling over gracefully style.  I love their large mopsy flower heads in ranges of pinks and blues.  I love how they are influenced by the chemistry of the soil.  And I love how they seem to thrive on benign neglect.  They are so much less flighty than roses (which I do love...and plan to have a few more of in the garden as well...) and respond to half-hearted pruning once a season in fine style.

Plus, I love how easy they are to propagate.  Check out this video demonstrating the simple technique:
Now, all I need to do is find someone with healthy hydrangea bushes who is willing to let me come and trim off some of the new growth in late spring-early summer, and who maybe would like to do some tradesies for them.

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