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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hydrangeas Part II

You thought I forgot, didn't you? I did not. I lost my notes. I lost my mind. They have both returned. I began writing this post in my notebook, but found it became rather verbose. So if you can believe it, I'll have to write another post for Part III and the remaining questions I am often asked. This post addresses the question:
Is there a hydrangea I can grow even though we have harsh winters?
Why,yes, my cold weather friends there long as you are in a region no lower than Zone 3 on a climate map. In case you are unsure of your zone, I've scanned a climate map below.(Click on map to enlarge)

Here is a breakdown for hydrangeas suitable for cold regions:

Zone 3: Hydrangea Paniculata AKA Pee Gee Hydrangeas

What they lack in color, they make up for with presence and abundance.Jackie-Baby and 'Limelight' blooms as big as his head
Bloom Color: Cream, ivory or white often aging to green or pink.
Pros: Blooms on new wood, so it is not affected by late frosts.

One of the few hydrangeas which does well in full sun - don't even think about putting her in the shade!
Fast grower and gets BIG! (I guess that's not a "Pro" if you have a small space.)
Bloom Time: Late summer, but blooms will age beautifully until hard frost.
Favorite Pee Gee: Limelight

Zone 4: Hydrangea Aborescens AKA Wild or Smooth Hydrangeas

A prolific and consistent bloomer. ( I have 6 of these beauties.)early 'Anabelle' hydrangea blooms
Bloom color: begins bright green, turns white and ages back to green.
Pros: Also blooms on new wood and is not affected by late frosts.
Can tolerate a little more sun. (But not full sun.)
Bloom time: Early in the season.

Favorite: Annabelle, which will re-bloom in late summer if deadheaded and cut back after the first bloom.

Zone 4: Hydrangea macrophylla 'Endless Summer' - mophead
The only mophead which can survive in the cold of Zone 4.'Endless Summer'
Bloom color: blue or pink depending on soil conditions.
Pros: very hardy and colorful!
Bloom time: June
The further north you are located, the more sun she'll tolerate. Here in the south, she'll need protection from the afternoon sun.

Zone 5: Hydrangea quercifolia AKA Oakleaf Hydrangea

As the name suggests, it's leaves look like those of an oak and color up beautifully in the late summer and fall. Oakleafs are are consistent and abundant bloomers which do well with sun, but not full sun. Needs good drainage. Some varieties get VERY big. Lulu by my neighbor, Pam's Oakleaf Hydrangea
Bloom color: Green to ivory/white and age pink. However, they will burn out or brown out by July here in the south. I simply cut the spent blooms & enjoy the remaining foliage.
Note: Bees love oakleaf blooms in the early stages, so beware if you are allergic to stings.
Favorite Oakleaf: 'Snowflake' - it has a double flower and the bloom ages better than others in my garden.
early blooming 'Snowflake' Oakleaf
'Snowflake' Oakleaf aging to pink

Zone 5: Hydrangea serrata AKA Lacecaps

Lacecaps have delicate, airy and dainty blooms and their leaves are narrow.'Purple Tiers'
Bloom colors: Purple, blue, white or pink.
Pros: Lacecaps are a more reliable bloomer than mopheads since they are hardier. (Less threatened by late frosts.) Since their blooms are more delicate, they remain upright.
Favorite Lacecaps: 'Purple Tiers', 'Tiara' and 'Blue Billow'
Note: Another favorite of bees once the centers "pop".'Tiara'
In case you are wondering why I am posting this now, it is because hydrangeas are best to plant in the fall. This way, there is less stress on the plant, it gets plenty of winter moisture and has time to set it's buds.
So go forth and get yourself a hydrangea or three...or five. Best to plant in odd numbers.
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lost and Found

And because I know you all will lose sleep if I don't spill the beans.
Here is what happened:

I was on my way to Target.
I see this black dog standing by a bus stop looking up at the people there.
I see black dog run into street and continue to cross four lanes of busy traffic.
I see black dog nearly get hit on three occasions. My heart is jumping out of my chest.
I see he has a collar, so I pull over into the empty (thank goodness) parking lot where he has now trotted to.
He is scared. He is hesitant. His tail is between his legs. His collar has no tags.

He is Ozzy.
I took him to our vet to be scanned to see if he has a chip. No chip.
I called Animal Control, Cocker Spaniel Rescue (they are full) and four local groomers.
Nobody has reported him missing.
His tongue sticks out while he sleeps.
He is sweet with everyone. He is housebroken. He is overweight. He snores.
He gets along with Ella...

Ah, yes...Ella.
The princess is not so happy.
I have no idea what his story is, but my vet told me they are seeing an unbelievable number of strays being found. People move and leave them behind. I can't fathom it.

So now we have a new member of the family. I'm pretty sure you'll be seeing much more of him. You can see more of him over at my photography blog here.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Tucker - Ella's new BFF
So dear blogger friends, while Mr. Sassypants and our children were away, I took the opportunity to visit my dear friend, Martha. A road trip to Alabama with Ella-baby.
I hadn't talked to Martha in forever. But I contacted her to let her know what had been going on with a mutual girlfriend. We decided we shouldn't only be contacting each other whenever there's bad news. We should get together!!
We had the best time! We hung out, did a little shopping, and re-connected. Re-connecting entails laughing, crying and reminiscing. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to be with a friend who knows me and my quirks and still loves me anyway.Tucker and Ella got along fabulously! They played and played until one of them got too pooped to play any more. If Ella was a human, I swear she'd be a Cougar - she gets all the young studs chasing her.
Thank you Martha for taking the time for our visit!

Upon my return to Georgia, I had work to do for my husband's business. Then I set about cleaning the house, ridding it of piles, doing laundry and re-organizing some areas. It was not fun, but wonderful to have finished. Because as you all know, cleaning while there are children around is like trying to nail Jello to a tree. Impossible!

And then this happened: (insert "Dun, dun, dun", for dramatic effect)

To Be Continued...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Life Got Busy!

Hello Friends!
I'm so glad you all have stuck around during my early summer hiatus, otherwise known as "school is out and these kids are runnin' me ragged". I was on a road trip to PA with the dog and both kids for 11 days. Mr. Sassypants had business to take care of so we made the journey ourselves. I was quite tired afterwards...but those kids weren't.

In the meantime, I'd taken part in two online photography courses. How well I did with those children out of school is debatable. My creativity was nil.

The heat and humidity had sky rocketed just in time for our return to Georgia. So we've been to the pool. Day after day, after hot, stinkin' day.
Add to the weather the fact that I went through a serious funk. Maybe because I'm a Momma's girl and I missed being around her when we got back. Maybe because I seem unable to focus for more than 10 seconds while these kiddos run around like squirrels on crack. Think I'm exaggerating? Maybe I was forgetting to keep a grateful heart.Then...June 28th came around. And I remembered.The happiest day of my life. I know there are girls who dream of their wedding day from the time they are very young. Not me. I dreamt of meeting a man of integrity, strong character, who is kind-hearted and can make me laugh. So the day, was just the icing on the cake.
This was 13 years ago.He has been my rock. He supports me and all I do. He works hard and long hours. He's a wonderful and playful father. We still laugh ourselves silly.This is us 13 years later. We went out for dinner by ourselves. We had such a great time talking - uninterrupted. Our son asked if our anniversary lasted more than one day - he and his sister thoroughly enjoyed their evening with their babysitter and good friend, Heather.

So my grateful heart has been restored. And I'll be back sooner than three weeks. My wonderful husband has taken both kiddos on a road trip to Chicago to visit family and friends. I have had two days of just me and the dog and a whole lot of quiet.

Thanks for visiting!