Protecting Shrubs and Trees Saint John NB
Protecting Shrubs and Trees
Hydrangea for Garden
The Cary Award Selection Committee recently announced that hydrangea paniculata has been chosen as a recipient of the 2010 Cary Award. This prestigious honor is given annually to a woody tree or shrub that is easy to grow, reliably hardy to at least Zone 5, expands the seasons of garden interest and is readily available.
Hydrangea paniculata joins more than three dozen other Cary Award winners, all of which are ideal choices for creating a "foolproof" landscape in New England. And with the recent appearance of many newer cultivars, few plants can rival the late summer and fall appeal of this species.
The common name, panicle hydrangea, describes the cone-shaped flowers which appear reliably from July through September. Native to eastern Asia, the species is well adapted to this region, winter hardy to at least Zone 4 (most of New England), grows quickly in most any soil, tolerates seashore conditions, prefers sunny exposed locations and is long-living.
It can be grown as a multi-stem shrub or single trunk tree, reaching 8 to 20 feet high and nearly as wide, depending upon the cultivar. It also offers the advantage of flowering on new growth, so it can be shaped and pruned, even quite severely, at most any time of year without sacrificing its flowers.
The cultivar hydrangea paniculata "Grandiflora" has been widely used since the 1800s and is ubiquitous. It is commonly called the "PeeGee" or "PG" hydrangea (a contraction of its cultivar name) and grows rapidly to 20 feet or more. PG's flower heads, comprised of many sterile white florets, are large and heavy, cascading profusely at the end of every branch, changing to rose-pink in fall and brown in winter. The rapid growth and coarse appearance of the PG hydrangea often relegates it to larger garden settings, and it has become a familiar plant in cemeteries nationwide. For many gardens, the tree-form types are easier to use.
Over the last several years, breeders have developed a range of better choices for modern gardens. A number of promising new H. paniculata cultivars have now appeared on the market, enhancing our choices for smaller gardens and more refined settings, and improved flower color:
- Kyushu: Earlier flowering than PG, with large upright heads and fewer sterile individual florets, forming an lacy appearance
- Limelight: More compact growing than PG, with rounded trusses of lime-green sterile flowers that turn pink in autumn
- Little Lamb: Compact growing, maturing at less than 12 feet high, with flowers that look similar to PG, but are much smaller
- Pink Diamond: Large cone-shaped flower trusses with a combination of fertile and sterile florets that turn pink earlier than PG
- Pinky Winky: Compact growing, maturing at less than 10 feet, with huge, two-toned, 12- to 16-inch white and pink flowers on strong upright red stems
- Quickfire: Slower growing with flowers that come into bloom a month earlier than PG, and turn rosy pink earlier in summer
- Tardiva: Later flowering than PG and slower growing, with large upright panicles of sterile and fertile florets
- Unique: Early flowering with rounded heads of extra large creamy white flowers
Freshly cut hydrangea paniculata flowers also make wonderful bouquets and indoors they dry extremely well, enabling us to enjoy them for many months. As the cut flowers become dry, they transform into incredible shades of rose-pink, mauve and tan, depending upon the cultivar and the stage when they were cut.
Flowers that remain on the plants in the garden should be removed before growth begins nest spring, but be sure to enjoy their appearance dusted with the snow in winter.
For more information on the Cary Award, visit http://caryaward.org.
R. Wayne Mezitt is the chairman of Weston Nurseries of Hopkinton and a Massachusetts certified horticulturist. He has served as president of the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association, the New England Nursery Association and the American Nursery and Landscape Association, based in Washington, D.C.author: R. Wayne Mezitt
Protecting Shrubs and Trees
Protecting Shrubs and Trees from Grass and LawnsAuthor: Paul McIndoe
It's happened to many gardeners who simply just don't see it coming. Sometimes grass, which can go towards making our green spaces look simply gorgeous, can kill. Particularly, it can kill young shrubs and trees that are simply not strong enough to fend for themselves against this wild, spreading plant.
Grass is tough to control, but it is possible. We know that, when we plant baby shrubs and trees, we clear a circle of earth around the plant to ensure that its roots are getting the correct amount of space to spread out in, as well as that the only thing soaking up the water and the sun's rays is the plant. However, grass is a quick grower - and it's not an uncommon sight to see wisps and curls of it creeping into our specifically cleared spaces, often having an incredibly detrimental effect on our shrubs and trees.
What's more, if you're growing a shrub, it can sometimes be difficult to see beneath the leaves and shoots, meaning that keeping tabs on grass growth can be difficult. The only way around this, really, is to check closely the soil around the base of the shrub to ensure it's still clear. You may need gloves to do this if the shrub is particularly rough, but it's as simple as lifting part of the plant out of the way or pushing it aside and having a quick glance. If you can't get into the space with a petrol mower, you should be able to simply trowel out the grass - just make sure you get the roots or it'll be back within days.
We all want to see our plants grow and thrive, which is why it's essential to look after them during the early stages of their lives. This could include frequent, extra watering, feeding and pruning the branches and shoots back to ensure optimal growth. And grass, as naturally as it does occur, is one of the biggest threats to healthy shrubs and trees, so never forget to make sure it's not overtaking the area around your young shrub or tree.
For larger spaces you can easily access, the best way to ensure grass is cleared and stays that way is to use a petrol lawnmower that will quickly and speedily take care of the problem for you. You can also use it to keep the rest of your lawn at bay to ensure neatness at all times. It's a handy invention, certainly a lot faster than manual mowers - so you can be sure of looking after those shrubs and trees with ease.
About the Author:
Paul McIndoe writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.