The Flicker Haven Farm Files-Hello Hydrangea!

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My mom and dad got me a hydrangea for my birthday!!


And it's my favorite color! Purple! SQUEE!


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Sorry, I just get so dang excited about plants, especially flowers, they are just so awesome!

That said, I have never successfully grown a hydrangea before. Our microclimate is a bit on the hostile, well-drained and not super-nutrient rich, soil side.

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But my new birthday hydrangea is just so gorgeous that I knew I had to do my absolute best to not let it die. So off to the Gardner's World website I went.

For the past couple week's I have been enjoying watching old episodes of Gardner's World on Amazon Prime after a long day of farm work before passing out at night. I have learned SO much from that show, and host Mr. Monty Don has this soothing Zen way about him that I enjoy.

I mean, I had checked his books out from the library over the years, but his BBC show (that has been on for life 36 years apparently) is pretty great.

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Anyway, back to the hydrangea. Now, I am pretty well versed in vegetable cultivation, but my flower growing knowledge needs some work. Between raising produce, animals, and heathen children, flower gardening has not been a focus in my realm for the past couple decades. The kind I have around here are the low maintenance kind, like colored yarrow, bellflowers, lavender, etc...

Here's the thing though, I love flowers. My great grandpa grew the most majestic climbing roses and I used to help my grandma tend her flower beds as a kid. So, last year I started upping my flower game by putting in a rose bed, and the birthday hydrangea really fit right into my surround myself with more flowers scheme.

According to the GW website, hydrangeas like moist, bulky soil with lots of nutrients. They don't like too much sun but also don't want full shade. Good Musk on a tusk! They are like the freaking Goldilocks of flowers!

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So, I spent a bit of time wandering around my house. The north side of my home is protected from the worst of the heat, and I do have this bed that needs desperately to be renovated. The focal point of the bed is an old stump that was left behind in the 1910 Big Burn, a huge wildfire that swept through the region over a 100 years ago. I love that stump and I have dreams of it being surrounded by blooming color. Years ago when the kids were toddlers I planted a non-suckering variety of poplar and a type of maple next to the stump. They provide a nice backdrop to the focal piece, but the bed itself has been overrun by quack grass. I DETEST QUACK GRASS!

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So, after poking about a bit, I decided the absolute best place to plant the hydrangea was right between the stump and the rhubarb. I grabbed my trusty wheelbarrow and went into the horse pasture to grab some well-rotted manure from the remnants of last year's composted pile.

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Before I could plunk the hydrangea into the earth I had to remove every root of quack grass that I could. My turf shovel and I spent a nice hour together, and as usual, management was breathing down my neck:

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In the spot I had chosen was a peony plant that has been there for as long as the trees. I had planned on moving it over with my other peony in the front flower bed when I renovated the stump bed. That job took no time at all, and I hope that beautiful peony transplants well. I think it will but time will tell.

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Next I dug the hole for my new hydrangea and mixed in a fair bit of well-rotted manure. I had watered my hydrangea really well that morning because the GW website said to, Water the plant well an hour or so before you plant it. Before you could say well, I didn't need that birthday bow anyway you heathen cat I had the plant in its new abode.

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I spent a bit of time firming the soil and compost in around the plant and watered that beauty in. Part of the reason I planted my new hydrangea yesterday is that we were to get buckets of rain today (which we did) and I thought a good, soggy overcast day would be great for a newly rooting transplant to help get it established.

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At least that's the theory.


Time will tell if I followed the wisdom of the knowledgeable gardeners well enough or not, but I am feeling pretty positive that I found the just right spot for my beautiful new flowering shrub.

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And you better believe I'll be keeping a close eye on its welfare! Well, after I untangle that extra special cat from the birthday bow. Sheesh...



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And as most of the time, all of the images in this post were taken on the author's only dropped into the compost one whole time and still amazed that it wasn't buried alive iPhone. The text divider image was made in Canva.




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(Edited)

I had a hydrangea almost exactly like that one last year! It looked very bonny until the flower heads started dying and going a horrible brown colour. The whole thing started to look very sad and slightly fetid. Then when I deadheaded the flowers that were minging no more came. It didn't like winter much and died right back only to return a month ago and start bristling with new shoots. I am an unforgiving sort and fig it up and three it on the compost. I now have a lovely Hebe sitting there..

So, I hoped your hydrangea has better luck than mine!

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LOL! That was a tale of hydrangea woe! It made it through the winter only to become compost as its survival stoked your rage, All smart plants must know not to cross the Boom!

I hope mine shivered a bit as I read your comment out loud, you know cause reasons....😆

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First: fantastic fracking post.

Second: Beautiful flower.

Third: 3 posts in 3 days. Who are you? Holy 💩. Lol.

!BBH

!ALIVE

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First: Thank you!!

Second: Again, thank you!

Third: Nope, not okay, had (and still have another day to go) to haul the boy around the Inland Northwest to two separate shooting ranges 50 miles apart for the State Of Idaho Scholastic Shooting Sports Shotgun Tournament. Had to work ahead a bit, hence the posting frequency. I am going to bed now lol lol!

!PIZZA

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Because this is such an awesome post, here is a BBH Tip for you. . Keep up the fantastic work

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Because this is such an awesome post, here is a BBH Tip for you. . Keep up the fantastic work

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The story about the log and you planting the hydrangea next to it is just perfectly beautiful! I do hope it grows healthy and multiplies! lol. I'm excited for your place to be surrounded by colorful flowers!

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Aww, thank you so much for all the kind words and hydrangea well-wishes! You are so awesome!!!

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It looks nice. Based on my plants' expert opinion, it's probably a flower. That's where my expertise end.

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Dang! Your expert opinion really showcased your absolutely right opinion rather perfectly! Nicely done!

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Is there anything you don't do?? You put me to shame. The plant is beautiful. The dog is also wonderful. Seems petered out...tiring, watching someone work :))

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Oh I would so like to do a bit less, I think I might be asleep sitting up right now lol, and there is no way in Hades that I put you to shame my friend, you are absolutely amazing!

Cora tries to bite every shovelful of everything, even manure which is kinda annoying lol! I wish she'd just watch me work!

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It looks glorious sitting there, and it sounds like you did plenty to give it a good chance of flourishing, @generikat ! :-) What a brilliant colour it is... I heard that hydrangeas change colour according to the acidity of the soil? I don't remember if that is based on fact or village superstition, but where I grew up there were mostly bright turquoise bushes - huge, and green year-round. That was around sea-level on an east-facing slope of a south-western Scottish island - where the Gulf Stream keeps the worst of the winter cold at bay. :-D

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Oh! Where you grew up sounds absolutely glorious! And I have heard that about hydrangeas too! I had a family member who had hers turn from blue to pink and it was because her soil's PH was the wrong way. I'm curious to see what happens with my new plant and am going to do a bit more research on the subject!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

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I barely even grow anything but that is a nice flower to look at. I think I would probably end up growing vegetables or something to eat over some cosmetics if I really had to plant something.

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That's the way I have been around here for years, only growing vegetables, but the bees love the flowers and honestly, so do I lol! 😊

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It's very pretty and hopefully will do well there. (Even if it is my least favorite color...) Hope the peony survives the transplant.

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Thansk! I hope they both do well too, and I hope you are beyond well also😊

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Hydrangeas are amazing flowers. I fell in love with them when living on the Azores Islands where they are extremely common and kind of the natural symbol of the islands. So beautiful... Good luck growing yours and happy birthday! :)

@tipu curate

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Wow, I bet that was a gorgeous sight to see all the time, hydrangeas and the sea, that sounds awesome!

Thank you so much for the well-wishes and for stopping by!

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Yeah, it´s awesome indeed. During the hydrangea season, many parts of the islands look like this:

(not my photo though)

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I think you found the perfect place for your hydrangea. The stump makes a great backdrop. All your hard work will be worth it in the end. Thanks for sharing.

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What beautifully colored flowers. Very nice birthday gift. I hope now that it is planted you can have it to look at year after year. Happy Birthday!
!CTP

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Such an lovely flowers. Photography is very harmonious and the colors fit very well together. I like it a lot ❤️

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