Landscaping with Liberty

Ruth_MI(z5MI)May 20, 2014

A few years back, I wanted to change up my front landscaping a little without the total re-do it needs, I decided to add some of my favorite "garden" things to the front...Liberty hostas and a variety of hydrangeas. (Forgive the burning bushes bottom left - 30 years old, and a landscaper put them in our plan!)

It's hard to see in the picture, but I have four curved segments of Liberty. Segment #5 will go in this fall on the far left when I divide these - the even number is getting to me. :-)

Anyway, this time of year the Liberty's bright yellow is just so refreshing to me. I realize this is a bit "much" for many people's taste, but I love this hosta. I actually stand upstairs and look out the window at their beautiful markings.

Once the flowers fill out and Liberty's margins turn cream, they look a little more subdued. But they're still large enough and substantive enough to hold their own against Endless Summers, Incrediballs and Limelights.

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coll_123(5)

Beautiful! It's funny, I just posted another thread on the "flashiness" of Liberty in the Spring! Yes, it;'s not a subtle hosta, but it is still a beauty and a balm for sore winter eyes. . I'm sure they are gorgeous with the hydrangeas. And by the way, I love multiple groupings of the same cultivar of hosta. I think that in itselt is calming to the eyes.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 6:51PM
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almosthooked

Ruth that is a absolutely spectacular inviting walk way and I love the show of liberty and want one of your large bushes. I can only imagine how great they will look when your Hydrangea are all in bloom too! Please keep the photos coming as both are one of my favorite plants
Thanks for sharing. You SHOULD be very pleased with the look. Now that is a wow look if I ever saw one!
Faye

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 6:57PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

I think your front yard is beautiful. I also think that the Liberty groupings really make a nice statement. They draw the eye to your walkway and entrance. Perfection!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 7:06PM
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valtorrez(6b)

I think it looks beautiful. I wish I had room for big hostas.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 7:21PM
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hostanista

I can't imagine anyone thinking Liberty is "a bit much". It's so gorgeous especially in early spring. I love this hosta, the more the merrier.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 7:30PM
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ravensfan52(6)

Looks amazing! They are very happy where you planted them, that is obvious! I also like the combo of colors with the other shrubs and perennials. Very pretty!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 7:40PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

What they said! ;)

Love Liberty and yours look wonderful en masse. Hmmmm...maybe I need to order several more...

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 7:41PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Spectacular! There can never be "a bit much" when it comes to hostas.

-Babka

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 7:51PM
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jadie88(7 MD)

Whoa. I've made a promise to myself that I won't use the word "stunning" so often in hosta posts...but it is not an overstatement in this case!

I saw a HUGE mass planting of Liberty at a DC area garden, and I could have stared for hours.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 8:11PM
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Gesila(MI Z5)

Spectacular! I've never heard "Liberty" and "a bit much" used in the same sentence!

WTG!

Gesila

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 9:54PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Thanks...nothing like a bunch of hosta fanatics to share pictures with. :-)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 10:20PM
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Pat

ruth, stunning, stunning, stunning. yes, please update when the hydrangeas bloom. please, please, please.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:21PM
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don_in_colorado

Wow!

Don B.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:34PM
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tiddisolo z8 Wales UK

Magnificent, please post more pictures when the hydrangeas are,in flower. I find myself drawn to them just lately and have added a couple to my own garden.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 1:56AM
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sandyslopes z5 n. UT

I don't think I've ever seen that many together. So bright, and cheery, and they're all so big! It almost doesn't look real, like you photoshopped them in or something... I know you didn't, :-) Beautiful!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 2:02AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Yes, I'll post pictures once the hydrangeas start blooming. This is from upstairs, and you can see the Endless Summers behind the hostas - three on one side, and four on the other. They were covered, so hopefully will bloom despite our wicked winter.

On the far right starts a row of Incrediballs, and then there are Limelights (and a few Little Limes) on the far ends.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 7:21AM
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mary4b(4b WI)

Exceptional!! I love mass plantings and this is just a superb example...I could move in with you just to enjoy them all summer long!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 7:22AM
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Jon

Anyone who thinks this is 'a bit much' has no taste. Well planned and executed

Jon

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 7:38AM
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vivian_2010

So beautiful! I only have Majesty but the margin is not as impressive as Liberty. After seeing your pictures, I am now trying to find out where I can get Liberty of good size!

Thanks for sharing,
Vivian

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 8:54AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Ruth, that is a very lovely and welcoming entrance to your home which is equally lovely! If I was an expected visitor, you would have to come outside and get me because I'd still be out there, gazing upon your garden! Lol

Jo

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:14AM
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Jon

ALRIGHT YOU GUYS LET'S GET MOVING!

HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SHOW YOU THAT PICTURE?

MOVE IT! MOVE IT! MOVE IT!

I WANT TO SEE NOTHING BUT.............!!!

Jon

This post was edited by jonnyb023 on Wed, May 21, 14 at 11:04

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:53AM
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jadie88(7 MD)

Bump!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:16PM
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jadie88(7 MD)

Bump!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:18PM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

Jadie, thanks for bumping these pics. I am overcome with admiration. Four groups of Libertys is a bold statement but not overdone in any way because of the length of the walkway. Love it. can't wait to see the effect with the hydrangeas.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:31PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Yes, glad to see it back on page 1. I'd missed the view from the upstairs windows, hoped to see something like that. It is a great thing to be able to view your own garden from inside your windows. It brings a warm glow to your day like nothing else can!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 1:17AM
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Connie K

I love, love, love what you've done with liberty in your front yard! Now I'm thinking I want to try to emulate the same look.

How much sun do these get? Which direction does the front of your house face?

Is Liberty slug resistant? Is Liberty a fast or slow grower?

Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:42AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Thanks for all the kind comments. Digginginthedirt, my house faces east. Some of them get a little more shade than others because of a mature Japanese maple and crabapple.

I find it to be more slug resistant than some. These have (gasp) landscape rocks under them. That's what was there from 30 years ago, so I tore out the fabric underneath but put the rocks back. Not sure if the rocks help keep the slugs down, but I have Liberty in back and they do OK with slugs too.

I was fortunate to find plants that were already good-sized and with very distinct margins. They've grown well...I'd say medium or medium plus (sounds like I'm ordering Thai).

The Endless Summers are just barely starting to open, and the Incrediballs are still just budding as you can see from this new window shot (the Libertys on the right are partially hidden by the hydrangeas now). I'll post updated pictures from ground level when the Endless Summers are pink.
.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:21AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Just updating with pictures of the hydrangeas in bloom as requested. These are actually a couple weeks old, so maybe I'll take a few more pictures tomorrow.

Little Limes and Limelights are still to come. They're near the Libertys by the driveway and also on the far side of the yard.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:14PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Also interesting to note how much the leaf margins have changed.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:15PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

last picture

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:16PM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Oh my! I love it. The colors are so pretty together. You have done an amazing job, I bet your neighbors love it too!

Thanks for the update.

Linda

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:25PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Beautiful landscape throughout the entire growing season.
At first the hakone grass echos the yellow of the Liberty margins. Then it goes into a lighter mode and the pinks work perfectly with that. I'm sure when the Limelight and Little Limes come into bloom, it will be another phase of coordinated colors.

This could challenge photos I've seen in Better Homes and Gardens or many gardening books. You are very talented.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:28PM
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hostatakeover z6a swMO

WOW, the mass of Liberties fronted with those gorgeous pinks is breathtaking! Hard to tear my eyes from it.

Ruth, you're not the only one who feels Liberty is best appreciated en masse. Visited LOTG last month and the Millers had just created this bed with LOTS of little Liberties.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:33PM
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Connie K

That is beautiful, Ruth! You have such good taste. The spacing and balance took some thought, and it really makes the design work. Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:18AM
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hostahosta

Beautiful plants. The colors work well together, and they really set off the brick of your house. Nice job.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:23AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Very impressive--wish I could see it in real life!

Have you thought about putting a couple Annabelles in there somewhere--for some earlier summer white. That way Annabelle would cover the first half of summer and the ones in your pictures would cover the second half of summer. There is also a pink Annabelle--though I have never seen one in real life. Just some suggestions for extending the wonderful display you have created.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:56AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Kate - those are Incrediballs (similar to Annabelle) on the left side. I have others in the front yard, out of the picture, for the very reason you mentioned.

Thanks, all for the kind compliments. I really think that Liberty is what makes it work! :-)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:11AM
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almosthooked

Thanks for the updated pictures. Every time I see this inviting yard it makes we want for more. The balance is perfect and I would bet that people going by stop, drool and take pictures. To have this would be my dream of a totally landscaped yard. Lovely!!!
Faye

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:46AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

That is so lovely and yes, stunning is the perfect description! :) I love the Liberty (Liberties?) with the hydrangeas. So glad this was bumped up since I missed it on the first go-round. Liberty is possibly my favorite and I may just have to create a similar massing/combination.

Jonnyb, LOL!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:38PM
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bernd ny zone5

'Liberty' always is a great show. It looks very good in front of the house. I just bought a third 'Liberty', nice multiple eyes from Naylor. That one is now growing in between a mature 'Guardian Angel' and a nearly mature 'Guacamole' under a dogwood in front of the house. Bernd

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 5:43PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Ruth, I should have known that anyone who planned out that landscape so carefully and beautifully also thought about including some earlier blooming hydrangeas somewhere in the design, shouldn't I have! My apologies--I wasn't trying to criticize. I just got carried away thinking how it would have been if I had designed that gorgeous landscape. You deserve all the praise this forum has heaped upon you. Thank you for sharing the vision with us.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 6:30PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Kate - no need to apologize!! I often think this forum could be renamed the "Nicest People on the Internet" forum :-) and didn't take your suggestion as a criticism at all.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:31PM
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hostas_for_barb(6b Ontario)

Just lovely Ruth. I have purchased a Liberty but don't have it in the ground yet. Now I am excited to plant it. Hope mine is as lovely as yours one day!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:01PM
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maow(6a)

OMG! Your front yard is lovely, I want to be your neighbor. This kind of landscaping took a lot talent and originality. It's is just perfect, I hope you are in a quiet street, or people might be so awed, they'd run into each other, I know I will! Keep the photos coming.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:42PM
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BungalowMonkeys(6-VA)

Ruth- your beautiful photos inspired me. Have a clean slate in my front and loved your combo of incrediballs and libertys. Went out today and grabbed 5 to go in front of my annabelles. Not sure if I grabbed enough. How many do you have in each cluster? Ignore the leaf puller in the corner.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:43PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

I think I have five, at least in most of them. Your five look perfect to me! I'd love to see pictures when you get everything planted.

This post was edited by ruth_mi on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 21:37

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:36PM
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BungalowMonkeys(6-VA)

Well I planted them before reading this. Looks like I should grab some more. The annabelles are looking a bit rough since I cut off the first set of blooming flowers to promote growth. Hopefully when they fill in it will look better. This bed shape is the original and im not sure what to do with it. At the end is an Acoma Crape. Building a fence this weekend from the end of the house to the road and was then planning on rounding out the end where the Crape is. I realize this isnt the landscape forum, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 6:05AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

A picture looking at the area as you're facing it would be helpful. Depending on sun and soil type, Annabelles can get large to huge. How deep is that bed?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:09AM
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BungalowMonkeys(6-VA)

At the small end, on left where the drive way is, it is 8ft deep. The windows start at 4ft and the annabelles are planted about 3ft away from the house. Ideally I wanted the whole front to be a hedge of annabelles. Was hoping hard pruning would keep them to about 4ft high. The sun is dappled in the morning, then full from 11:30-2ish and then shaded the rest of the day.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:29AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

I think that the experts on the landscape design forum could give you better input. They'd want to see pictures of the whole house from the street, which is really necessary to balance everything...it's hard to design a bed in isolation from what's around it.

I really like your idea of a hedge of Annabelles across that section. The Liberty placement would, to me, depend on what's elsewhere across the front.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 6:36PM
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BungalowMonkeys(6-VA)

Makes sense. The other side of the house hasnt been touched yet because of a drainage issue that will be fixed in a month or so. Probably wont be planting anything there until next spring. The house is awkward, has a carport right in the middle of it. Im going to clip your pics and save them for reference. Hopefully next year, when the house can be done as a whole, I will have a better plan layed out.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 6:46PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Also, Bungalow, give the direction your house faces.

What I bet the landscape forum tells you is to wrap that bed with a big arcing curve around the corner of the house, have a pencil thin tall evergreen on the corner, and go right around the corner with a "ball" shape ending the bed on the side of the house somewhere. It will have continuity, and not give the look of a western town with "false fronts" on all the stores. Don't stop the good look, keep it rolling.

One thing which you might reconsider is the choice of Annabelles which require severe pruning in that spot. Put them out somewhere in a free and open bed where they can live up to their potential. Sooner or later, all that severe pruning is going to leave you with tortured and gnarly stems, not the graceful plants you envision.

Get the Proven Winners hydrangea flyer and look at all the hydrangeas they have available. Knock down the mature size of your hydrangea selection, and I think you will be happier in the long run.

I just got through reading about this very same situation, which is why I suggest this to you, before the hydrangeas get rooted in place too many years.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:55PM
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maow(6a)

Would like to offer my 2 cents, be aware that same plants grow very differently with the amount of sunlight they receive, I see you gave some shaded parts. If you are trying to get the symmetrical look without the same amount of lighting, prepare yourself... it mosy likely won't be how you envisioned. This I have experienced myself, wish I knew then what I know now! I had a similar plan with my hydrangeas, but see for yourself from the photos, same size plants planted at the same time but... Just look at the size of the plant and blooms on the first photo-Left side of the garden( gets full all day sun). I have tried to compensate for the lack of sun the right side of the garden, l tried everything- from fertilize, compost, more frequent and deeper watering, but still no improvement.

This post was edited by maow on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 1:19

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:03AM
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maow(6a)

Right side of garden, photo was taken at 10:30 am, gets some dappled midday to full afternoon sun. Look how small the plant and sparse the blooms are on the right most hydrangea, that is the last plant to get the sun. It looks so sickly. Hostas seem to fair a little better. The 2 August moon hista flanking the Paul's glory seem to be almost the same size, but left one still has more blooms.

This post was edited by maow on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 1:24

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:07AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Annabelles take to pruning very well, but whether that will keep them to 4' depends on the amount of sun, type of soil, etc.

In addition to the direction your house faces, your zone would help too.

There are two places close by (a business and a condo entrance) where Annabelle is growing in pretty much full sun and has been in place for at least several years. The plants are 4' or under, not floppy, and look great. In my back yard, with more shade and heavier soil, it's a flop-fest.

I will say, though, that in a spot where I have them in a hedge, they've grown together and do fine.

Here are my Incrediballs from the front. There are a number of them planted close together and the ones on the left get a lot more sun. Yet they're pretty much the same height.

But I generally agree with maow's comments. I have three Incrediballs planted by my mailbox. They're very close together too, but progressively in more shade from a maple. The size and bloom difference is amazing, but I don't water much there. And I've tried to do "symmetrical" with other plants in my back yard and had the same disappointing results.

Bungalowmonkeys' shade didn't look too deep, so it may not be an issue, but it's hard to tell from the pictures.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 6:54AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

I mentioned Proven Winners because I received my order of columbine and some other plants from a nursery in Zeeland MI. With the order they included a multi page color brochure about PW hydrangea selections. Impressive to say the least!

One that I especially noticed was the dwarf Limelight, forget what its name is specifically, but it is a honey. Besides the Annabelles and Limelights and such, they had a mind boggling variety to choose from. I had no idea so many sizes shapes colors were on the market.

I know I have that brochure here somewhere, I was just looking at it. Drats, I'd love to give you the info I discovered. I do not like to build in work that might be avoided with plant selection. Especially do I try to avoid pruning to maintain size. Sooner or later it will get out of hand, I will not be able to deal with it at the proper time, and I lose the look I wanted to achieve. Hydrangeas are very forgiving, but I think about lightening the garden workload whenever I can.

I notice that your house seems to be on a curving road at that spot, which is why I suggest curving the bed around the corner of the house in a wide sweep. And the Incrediballs out closer to the street to match the curve of the pavement, will be nice viewed from inside your windows. Perhaps if they get large it will serve to screen the headlights of cars, and also dull the sound of vehicles passing by.

My DH and I have different thinking concerning maintenance anyway. He likes it precise, looks at how it appears from the street. I look at how it appears from inside the house to ME.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:09AM
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BungalowMonkeys(6-VA)

Just downloaded a compass app and it would seem my house is facing east. That dappled shade goes away completly from 11-2ish, across all the hydrangeas. Hopefully that will help them grow the same. The dwarf limelights are probably called little lime hydrangea. They are beautiful. Limelights are my second favorite hydrangea. Also trying to grow a hedge of those in the back yard. The pic is one I grabbed from the first bloom. The full size limelights will get pretty large.

I agree about the round area at the end. We are putting in a fence this weekend and I drew up a path and front bed change that should work for this side of the house. Plus it will give me more area to plant some hostas. I'll post pics for input.

Maow love your garden bed. Are those the endless summer hydrangeas? I have 3 forever and ever white out hydrangeas in a back bed and they havent bloomed or grown as advertised. It is only year one, so maybe next year will be different.

Ruth those incrediballs are so beautiful. If I can find those around here next year Im grabbing as many as I can. They just dont sell them or the annabelles which, is so frustrating.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 6:27PM
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maow(6a)

Thanks bungalowmonkey, it's a never ending project. Those photos are at all frpm my backyard, they are blushing bride hydrangeas- it is a very light baby pink color, no matter the pH of the soil. I have 3 limelight hydrangeas behind a semi circle boxwood hedge in the middle between the 2 beds- notice thr the limelight on the tight?, smaller and lesser blooms, so frustrating, ugh.... If you put the 3 photos together that is my backend of my backyard.
I do have the endless summer hydrangea in my front yard. I guess I must have added too much lime to the soil to make sure they turn out pink as that was my original ideas 3 years ago, but.. now it is too pink! .. I am switching them out tomorrow. I will move the 2 puny blushing bride ones from the right side of the backyard to the front. Not sure what to do with them yet, am very much loving blues and lavanders at the moment. Dig dig dig....I am in so much body pain from the major overhaul this summer. Ughhh.

This post was edited by maow on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 22:03

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:49PM
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maow(6a)

Front yard endless hydrangeas.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:05PM
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