Friday, August 14, 2009

My Shrubs

Nothing says "beach cottage" like a planting of blue hydrangeas. They are not fussy. Some sun and good draining soil make them happy. In our area the soil is normally acidic so the blue is good.

They start blooming the middle of June and continue past frost. The mop heads are wonderful to cut for arrangements especially for Fourth of July. The flowers can also be cut at various times for drying. Hang them upside down. Little sprigs of the blossoms can be cut and dried by suspending them in a wire mesh. In early summer the green and blue colors can be harvested. As frost approaches, the colors will go through to dark muted red-purple. Even the bleached, dry heads can be lightly spray painted with silver and gold for holiday decorating projects.

Variegated Eunonymus shrubs are upright growers and can be sheared to shape. They make excellent hedges and individual foundation plants. They are not fussy as to sun or shade. Foliage remains on the shrub through the winter.

When you need some greens for arrangements, branches from eunonymus are unsurpassed. Even by themselves in a vase in winter can be uplifting. The gold-edged leaves are striking with holiday evergreens.

Spreading Variegated Eunonymus will sprawl on the ground. It looks best with a huge boulder behind it or a low stone wall. It can also be sheared to contain its size. Sun or shade, it's happy.

Branches dry well retaining their color for a good six months. This makes excellent wreath material. In winter, the leaves will take on a redish tint.

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