Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pruning Annabelle Hydrangea Higher this Winter

I decided to prune my Annabelle hydrangea a little higher up this winter, hoping the woody growth from last year will help support the stalks in the wind. It's a bit of a trade off, because although the new stems will be taller and therefore higher in the breeze, the base of support is woody and stronger so maybe they won't blow over quite so much. The new buds should also promote a bushier appearance (in theory). I'll check back in this spring and see if my plan worked. In the meantime, my dogs do love chewing on the twigs sticking out of the ground!

Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' cut a little higher up, above the 2nd set of buds on each stem

Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' pruned and standing in snow

Here's a look back at how low I pruned them last year, you can see that they only have 2 buds per stem because I chopped them all the way to the ground. We'll see if they bush out a bit more this year.

Is Green Panda Bamboo Evergreen in My Zone?

The Fargesia rufa 'Green Panda' bamboo that I transplanted outside this Spring is going strong, and is holding its deep green color. It's almost December! I'm wondering if this green panda is supposed to be evergreen in my zone 6a here in central Indiana.

green panda evergreen
Fargesia rufa 'Green Panda' looking very green on November 29, 2015 in Zone 6a

Every source I can find says that it is indeed cold hardy to zone 5, but I haven't seen anything about it being evergreen. It's certainly doing better than my Japanese painted fern that took a poop at the first snowfall!

Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum' winter
Japanese painted fern - Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum' - decidedly not of the evergreen persuasion

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ruby Falls Weeping Redbud in Winter

Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’ my maroon weeping redbud has finally dropped all its leaves and now I have this crooked walking stick profile with little black buds all over it next to my front walk. I was thinking about wrapping it in Christmas lights, but I was too afraid to damage the buds.

These are really important to keep intact, because that's where the purple flowers will appear this Spring. I can't wait to see the flowers for a nice Spring effect. I remember driving down the highway in March/April and being able to pick out redbud from the road because they produce wisps of purple against the drab backdrop.

This will be a fun mini tree to watch throughout the seasons.

redbuds black buds in winter
Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’ little black buds in winter

young weeping redbud in winter
Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’ - young weeping redbud in winter

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - November 2015

The grasses are turning yellow and I can't wait to see them against a blanket of snow. I fluffed up my mulch, trimmed my melting hostas, and was getting ready for a long winter's nap. September we had gorgeous purple in every part of the yard, and by October things were really starting to slow down. I didn't think it was going to be a very interesting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day this month (the 15th of ever month).

But what's this? This fleabane next to my house, Erigeron speciosus 'Darkest of All' is still blooming.

Erigeron speciosus 'Darkest of All'
Erigeron speciosus 'Darkest of All'

I noticed new buds just beginning to open on October 30th, and I figured when the first frost came they would wilt away. We've had several very frosty mornings here in central Indiana since then, and these flowers are still opening.

Erigeron speciosus 'Darkest of All'
Photo taken on October 30, 2015

I wonder if it has to do with the fact that it's near the house which is warmer, or because this plant was new in the Spring and might be giving it a last 'hoorah' after establishing some roots.

I also wanted to give Little Henry an honorable mention (Itea virginica 'Sprich' Little Henry) for putting out nice fall color its first year. Although my expectations were high "If burning bush has good fall color then this plant is a wildfire!" - it was still able to produce a nice deep red in full sun and is holding its leaves longer than anything else in my yard.

Itea virginica 'Sprich' Little Henry
Itea virginica 'Sprich' Little Henry

little henry

This should be the last of the blooms until Spring for me, but I think next month I'll highlight some of my winter interest items, like dried hydrangea flowers, red juvenile river birch bark, and golden Northwind switch grass.