Does anyone grow hydrangea, Little Lamb and if so, what can you tell me about it? Can it take full sun and how big does it get? Thanks!
I have one, but not long enough to say a lot about it. Advertised height is 4-5 foot tall and last year mine went no more than 2 feet, and I cut it back pretty hard a few weeks ago. Mine was in mostly full sun and did fine. And the white blooms turn the prettiest shade of pink and stayed that way till November. Nice plant.
Thanks for the info. Can I ask where did you buy it? I wonder if the blooms are similar to Limelight?
The blooms are similar to Limelight, but smaller and don't take on that creamy mint-green color. I'm a grower for an arboretum - see My Page - and they allow me to test grow certain plants in my "test garden" at home for an evaluation of grown in garden soil versus containers. After the growing season, the dormant plant is returned to the arboretum and either planted in the collections or repotted for later sales. I take it from your listed zone that you're probably from NW Illinois. If so - Google Song Sparrow Nursery which is a mail-order nursery near Rockford - they have them listed in their on-line catalog. I can personally recommend their product and service.
Mine is pretty small so can't attest for size. But I grow many hydrangea paniculata in full sun. Shouldn't be a problem.
silvergold - are you growing The Swan, and if so, what can you tell about it- good and bad. Thanks
Hi mrgpag - The Swan is one I don't have yet but have thought about it. I have about 12 others, but not that one.
12, that's quite a collection. I acquired White Moth this spring and have The Swan ordered and that's about all I have room for - along with Little Lamb, Pink Diamond, Quick Fire, 3 Limelights, a tree forum, and one of Mike Dirr's yet to be named selection from a Pink Diamond seedling
Little Lamb tops out at about 5 ft, and in Z4-5 will do well in full sun.
I grow The Swan, and it gets very large, about 8 ft. The flowers are huge, very nice. The one thing I will suggest is that it should be staked the first couple of years to get upright growth, seems more lax than, for instance, Limelight, but once the new growth is hardened off keeps its upright shape well.
Polly in NY - Thanks for the info on The Swan. That's good to know
How much space do you think I would need for Limelight? In other words, how tall and wide does it get? I'd like to do a row of hydrangea paniculatas but I'm concerned that I might not have enough space. I'll have to measure everything tomorrow. I'm trying to landscape the side of my small greenhouse. Here's a picture of the area:
I'm thinking of doing a row of Karl Forester grasses up against the greenhouse and maybe do 'Little Lamb' hydrangeas instead of 'Limelight' in front. I'll probably add some perennial geraniums in front of the hydrangeas. P.S. The plants that are there are asters and will be moved to another part of the yard.
Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks much.
Limelight will get about 6-8 feet tall, and almost as wide. It appears it would block quite a bit of the sun coming in your greenhouse windows, is that OK, or maybe that is what you are looking for. Of course it will only be in leaf for you from mid to late April to November or so. Little Lamb will be smaller, at about 5 feet. I have a display area with Limelight Hydrangea, some Pennisetum and Lime Frost daylilies (that bloom at the same time as Limelight Hydrangea). That's been a good combo here, with the daylilies and the grass around the base of the Hydrangea. Just a suggestion for something to go with the Hydrangea.
Thanks so much for your input. Do you have any pictures you can share of this area? It sounds beautiful. Oh, how I love the blooms of Limelight and would really like to have a row of these! I guess I could always prune them every year to keep them to 5 feet, right?
I will get some pictures this year. Just got my digital camera last year.
I like Limelight too, and I think I would pick them over any of the Paniculatas. You could keep them at 5 feet without too much trouble, and that sounds like a great idea for a row of Hydrangeas.
Hope you will share some pictures too!
You've been great! One more question. How far apart should I space 'Limelight'? If I can squeeze 3 in this area, I'll be a happy camper!
Four feet apart would probably be best.
Do you know anything about H. Quck Fire? This is another I'm curious about, but not necessarily for this area.
Well yes I do.
This is another intro from Spring Meadow. It has only been around a couple of years, but is supposed to reach about 6-8 ft.
It appears to be very similar to Pink Diamond, but blooming much earlier, and as the season progresses it gets a brighter pink than Pink Diamond.
It seems to be a really nice selection.
It looks like you are really into Hydrangeas. Have you looked at White Dome, and Hydrangea arborescens radiata 'Samantha'? Not Paniculatas, but they are hardy for your area, and we have really loved them, especially White Dome. White Dome has a woodsy very victorian look.
Try this website for pictures (hope it works)
I grew a lot of Quick Fire from Spring Meadow last year for sales this year and was impressed with the plant. Spring Meadow had pruned back the new growth to facilitate shipping, so there were no blooms to observe. What impressed me tho was the vigorous and sturdy upright growth of the stems and the great foliage which took on a reddish tint in the fall as did the tips on the stems - similar to what some big leaf serratas do. And since there were no blooms, I became concerned they had shipped the correct plant. So I sent them some images and they reported back that mine looked the same as their stock plants - minus blooms. So I like the plant a lot and have yet to see it bloom. And with paniculatas - height can be easily maintained with selective pruning in early spring
Not sure where in Illinois you are, but The Growing Place in Naperville and Aurora are carrying it this year. It's listed under new shrubs for 2006. http://www.thegrowingplace.com/plantnews.htm#trees
Thanks so much everyone. I'll have to post pics once I complete the area.
Hello friends - This is an old thread but it was one of a few that guided me as a novice to H paniculata LL.
This is now his 3rd season & no longer the li'l guy with the usual smaller blossoms (that made us love him) ... is it possible that he is reverting back to his parentage-growth habit - which ever they were? I tried searching but all I found was that LL was a 'J. de Belder' intro prized for dainty panicles (no other specifics). I'm cerain that Polly, Marshall or Ego might be able to answer.
The blossoms from the old canes have stayed to size, but the new center canes produced huge (12"x10"w) panicles. Fortunately the center canes were hefty enough to handle the wt, w/only some arching after storm/rain.
Suggestions on pruning - which, the new or the old canes? Also any more, successful staking/criss-cross tying recommendations? My efforts failed miserably this season ... too embarrassed to include photo of the ugly, nylon-hose-web-remedy I did, after a severe storm! LOL!
Many TIA! Â:)
Here is a link that might be useful: http://picasaweb.google.com/ditas1/LittleLamb
I have the same question about my Little Lamb too. I remembered that George said that "with correct pruning", it will make the shrub look indeed like a little lamb! I am wondering what the best pruning method is to achieve this desired effect?
BTW, I do not have the same central canes that shoot up like yours do, because my Little Lamb was sadly enough "pruned" by the deer a few times during this growing season!!!
Ditas and Ostrich, I'm refraining from making a definite statement here, but seems like a LL will falls into cathegory 'another marketing spam', at least that how I see it by observing mine (planted in 2006) and two in my friends gardens (2005 and 2006 plantings respectively).
First, about mine. You already saw it...on Ditas pictures. They are identical twins in everything, in habit and in a size of the plant and blooms. Mine never saw pruners since planting and new tallest canes from the center are already in a 5' range with huge 10-12" panicles rivaling or beating those of nearby [established] PG. In 2006 and 2007 it behaved exactly as it suppose to do by marketing hype. Not so this year.
Friend's #1 (2005) He prunes in spring (to the 6" stubs) everything that grew more or less verticaly the previous season and leaves grounhuging branches mostly 'as is', just shortening them by 1/3. As a result he got a lot of THIN new stems bearing small(ish) flowers growing from the center. Overall effect- wide(5') x short(3+') mound with most of the flowers on arching stems in a lower 2/3 of the plant. If it start producing vertical canes he cuts them with no fears at any time. His planted in a middle of the lawn and it's indeed look like a little lamb laying on a grass :-)
Friend's #2 (2006) In spring of 2007 it wasn't pruned at all and behaved exactly like mine. In spring of 2008 all small weak growth from the ground was removed and plant was given slightly rounded shape at 18-24" height.
Result: at last count in July it had 5x4' and 3x5' strong vertical or almost verical and very strong shoots bearing one large (8-10') panicle on each shoot. Basicaly it looks like a non- to slightly arching or semi-erect PG. We both think that if those canes will be staked and let harden in a such position as they are right now shrub will have an interesting vase shape if only it will continue to go growing in a same fashion. (To me it somehow resembles growing habit of Physocarpus, just not as dense)
That's all I could share at the moment.
Note: all three plants were bought from the reputable sourse and if mislabeling is a case it could of only happened at a growers place. Mine and #2 were in white PW pots with fancy LL label attached. Owner of #1 is not sure about that about his plant.
Thanks, George... you know what? I think that mine is still more or less like a "little lamb" because of the "pruning" of the central canes by the deer! LOL! So, I think that next year, I will take the approach of your Friend #1 and then prune the heck out of the central canes next year, if the deer don't do it for me already!!! LOL! Hopefully, it will then be like a "little lamb" indeed... thanks again!
Thank you very much George, for your very informational observations of yours as well as your friends' LLs! Needless to say, am a bit disappointed this 3rd season (tho the young blossoms are absolutely gorgeous w/ amazing luminescence in the dark of night!) Â;) but glad to know I'm not alone ... as you described your LL's also, 3rd-yr-behavior!
If I could - 'really wish to keep blossoms at the promised "dainty & petite lambs" but since mine is set in, w/ river-rocks-surround (no soft/cool green patch to lay on) - I might like to follow 'Friend #2's decision to encourage a more upright habit & only hope for the 'baby lambs' as finials to the thicker canes - certainly, staked/corralled
Like yours & 'friend #2's mine came in the White PW pot with the PW label as well & pd the very reputable, nursery $$ tag! Mine never pruned except for the clean-up of old blossoms in Mar.
Would you happen to know the parentage of LL?
Again, I truly appreciate you response, very much!!! Â;)
Still hoping to hear from Polyny, Marshall & also Silvergold!
I did a mass planting of LL's around a flagpole at the arboretum last year and they are in full bloom right now. I'll get some images tomorrow and post.
Marshall, can't wait!
I was just about post that 'this stuff' should look great if planted en-masse in a circular fashion when each plant will overlap and support each other at the same time :-)
Thank you for checking in, Marshall - I can just imagine ... can't wait either!!! Â;)
Wow! Marshall, that arrangement sounds really beautiful! I can't wait to see the photos!!! :-)
as promised - there's 26 plants in this bed which is also in need of some hydrating. The plants are about 3 feet tall.
WOW! Marshall, this is STUNNING! I love it! Thanks for the inspiring design and photo!
BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Thanks for sharing!
Marshall, thank you, very inspirational!
Please remember to post picture 'one year later' because as stated above main changes in behaviour/appearance of LL happens on third year in a ground.
Anyway, the way you designed this planting, even if plants wil be in 5' range it will look very attractive. WTG!
Many thanks Marshall, for posting this photo of the incredible result, of your 2007 "circular en-masse" planting of LL!!! Â;) I too am going to wait to see photo of 3rd yr, if you would, please!
I am noticing some center canes already zooming on several, but as George noted:
"each plant will overlap and support each other at the same time" & "the way you designed this planting, even if plants wil be in 5' range it will look very attractive."
I'd be curious how you will prune to shape for next season ... prune this Fall or in Spring?
My not so li'l LL at 5' is in a sad shape with now, even more massive/heavy center cane blossoms ... canes now unable to bear ...had to tie another nylon hose tighter, to hold them upright a bit as they are now arching & fear breakage, as did a couple already - not receiving any support from lower surrounding ones. I may have to just clip all the centers as we are predicted rain these next few days (LL will be even sadder looking w/ an empty center Â:( ... I really don't care for those giant blooms, especially right next to airier/daintier QF blossoms ('wonder if QF will get larger blooms 3rd season too? Tardiva's seems to be).
Again many thanks & Thumbs-up for a great display!!!
BTW, George, how are you dealing with yours at this point? TIA!
I supported(staked) 3 or 4 most vertical canes and will let them harden in such position.
In early sring I'll inspect 'sceleton' and decide what to do next. At this point everything is in an air, but I might experiment and will do a staggered pruning leaving tallest canes in a back and center and gradualy go lower to the front. At this point it's just an idea, have to see it completely leafless first.
Many thanks for the lead George - the expected rain storms turned out just intermittent rains that gave me time to redo the earlier, failed efforts, of nylon hose/shorter wire corral. Whew ... do not recommend an after-the-fact effort to rescue those babies ... another lesson learned - it was a feat. indeed!!!
I am more convinced now, following your Friend#2's solution of trying the almost vertical/stronger cane growths on even the lower-original, arching canes.
In the efforts I took to raise those poor little babies, laying in a tangled mess, on what must have been, oven-hot river-rocks ... i'll never have roast-lamb come Easter (LOL) ... I rescued more than 20 stems of blossoms in the process. LL bush looks a thad bit better, in a new layered look, like a wedding cake instead of a fountain! I'll install taller stakes in Spring & anticipate growth better!
The other thing I have noted this 3rd season is the droopier growth habit of the foliage, unlike perkier/more horizontal prs of foliage on canes of QF, PD(2nd yr) & even Ts(4th yr) - 'noted on Marshall's taller canes as well - are yours too?
The droopiness of the foliage in my picture is more related to drought and infrequent hydrating of the bed. Once the bed was adequately watered, the foliage perked up. We've had no significant rain here in 6 weeks.
Thanks for responding Marshall - mine is adequately watered just as QF right beside ... 'wonder if those gigantic blossoms suck up all the drink I give, since the drooping foliage are mostly on those tall center canes. Blooms certainly look nice & plump, not a sign of flinching in f/s.
I also noticed, as I raised the lower splayed branches - there were lots of dried & yellowed foliage ... I figure, due to denseness of the bush - sun couldn't get through. Hopefully, clipping lots of blooms from the lower canes, should prevent anymore yellowing.
I'm still hoping to hear from Polly as I understand, she loves/raises/propagates LLs.
Ditas, no, I didn't noticed anything unusual in my LL foliage...and you know, I pay attention to details :-))
In your case, could it be just heat radiation off the rocks?
Hi George - As I just posted to Gary, I'm seriously thinking of another alternative solution to the above posted observations on my 3y/o LL ... convert to tree-form. Do you think it will work ... with those heavy, huge finials?
You wouldn't happen to have a photo of your friend#2's LL ... a more upright bush form? Would love to see if you do! Â;)
Marshall, have you tried growing one - LL tree form, I mean?
ditas - I haven't as I have never seen one with canes strong enough - but obviously others are seeing that trait in theirs. I'd give it a try with the right plant.
I have a bed of 50 h.paniculata that I grew from seed - this is their third year and most are blooming quite well. I see a lot of variances with ones similar to Limelight, some like Pink Diamond, several like LL, and a couple with the tiniest florets(these I'm watching closely for further propagation). Some have very strong, thick, upright stems and others are sort of arching. It should be an interesting bed in a couple years.
This is a fun project and they are so easy from seed. I collected all my seed from Pink Diamond plants per Mike Dirr's suggestion. Maybe some of you with the space might be interested in trying this.
Good AM Marshall - Wow!!!
"I have a bed of 50 h.paniculata that I grew from seed - this is their third year and most are blooming quite well."
I read from your page, that you propagated but really ... Wow! No wonder - those 26 LLs around the flagpole must just be a pinch!!! How tall are your 3y/o H.ps in bloom? I'm quite interested in the:
"a couple with the tiniest florets(these I'm watching closely for further propagation)." & "Some have very strong, thick, upright stems"
I'm a fan of airier blossoms (H.p, H.s, H.q, H.p) more than mopheads as stunningly, awesome as there are. I can just imagine the fun you have ... so tempting ... from seeds huh?!!! I have a PD & T that I'd love to collect seeds from & experiment. What kind of "space" do you mean? How about posting a photo of your 'H.p. plantation!' BTW I had to run back out there, to check those seedpods forming on PD & T panicles (after all the fuzz dropped) & opened chapt.13 of M.Dirr. Thank you for encouraging us! Â;)
Back to tree-form LL ... still wondering if anyone has one or is it worth trying?
Again thank you so much!!!
Ditas emailed me and asked me to come over. I don't know if I'm sure of the questions after reading the posts, but will try to help.
Little Lamb was hybridized by Jelena deBelder, a renowned plant breeder from Antwerp. She and her husband Robert made Arboretum Kalmthout into one of the most prestigous botanical collections in the world.
Jelena has hybridized a number of hydrangea paniculatas, such as Little Lamb, Pink Diamond, The Swan, and Unique.
Jelena deBelder hybridized Little Lamb and sold rights to Spring Meadows who applied for patent on 11/25/02.
The plant patent applied for states this reason as applying for a new patent:
"The new Hydrangea originated from a cross-pollination during the summer of 1989 of a proprietary selection of Hydrangea paniculata identified as code number 16, not patented, as the female, or seed, parent with an unknown selection of Hydrangea paniculata , not patented, as the male, or pollen, parent. The cultivar Little Lamb was discovered and selected by the Inventor as a single plant within the progeny of the stated cross-pollination in a controlled environment in Essen, Belgium."
It further goes on to state:
"Asexual reproduction of the new cultivar by softwood cuttings taken in Essen, Belgium since 1995, has shown that the unique features of this new Hydrangea are stable and reproduced true to type in successive generations. "
So I would seriously doubt it is reverting back to any of it's parents.
The description of the plant is that it is a smaller plant than PG. That it has larger inflorescences than PG, and that it has smaller flowers than PG. This was the description in the patent application.
I think it would work well as a tree form, Ditas.
I'm not sure I answered the questions. I will check back here, and see if there is anything else i can answer.
Thank you so very much, Polly for taking the time to clarify to us, curious lay gardeners, how new cultivar of garden beauties are hybridized/created/designed & propagated. You have more than answered my wonderings about reversion to parent plant (due to the huge size of 3y/o LL's center cane blossoms). I wish to keep them small if I could ... are 10"wdx12"lng not unusual for LL?
You don't happen to be creating one into a tree form, in your display garden, do you?
I'll see what happens in '09 after pruning much of the weaker, splaying canes, with hopes of more upright bush - ala George's friend #2's LL. I'm such a chicken ... if that still doesn't improve, I'll cross the bridge then.
Again, many thanks Polly, for taking the time in sharing your knowledge of LL's history, as well as your reassuring thoughts, in turning LL into a tree form!!! Â;)
I've sold a few tree form hydrangeas I've done myself, but I've never done Little Lamb.
Considering the plant patent says the inflorescences are larger than PG, I wouldn't doubt 10 X 12 would not be unusual.
However, I think, like some of you, I expected small inflorescences with small dainty flowers. Although I can see no where that it was promoted as such.
Hi George - I'm hoping you'll open this thread as I'd like to find out what you have decided to do with your LL. I'd like to follow your friend #2's solution (posted above) to the LL dilemma we were discussing last Sept in this thread.
I just got done clipping all the dried blooms on all of my H panic. Every single one's leaf buds are starting to burst (some more advanced than others. I'm planning on trying to grow a more upright bush as the daintier lambs didn't look as lovely laying on the river-rocks that surrounds the bush ... also since a more upright QF is right beside him.
Another thought I have is - driving a few stakes to create a taller open cage as support to hold the splaying thinner canes up. As you can see in the album link I posted, LL almost, needs to be symmetrically shaped. Furthermore, Raising all the limbs up will help prevent the yellowing & burning of the internal foliage, likely, caused (as you suggested) by the heat radiation from the rock-flooring in that site.
I'd appreciate reading posts from others, with similar LL dilemma & how they resolved the problem.
MTIA ... Ditas
Hi, MD :-) Season started, right?
OK, what I did with my not so little Lamb.
I cut all lower twiggy growth into 'skirt (1' high x 1.5' in diameter) and left 3 most vertical canes at 3'. Those 3 canes basicaly formed an upside down teepee. Now they are staked at the angles to the verical and I'm anxious to see what creature it would become :-))
On a little bid different subject, my experiment of growing clematises thru PGs and Tardivas seems to be working: hydrangeas already look half-green and I see plenty of clem's buds pocking here and there:-))
Thanks a bunch George!!! I think I'll follow your shaping pattern tho perhaps not as severely (I'm a chicken!) - I'll raise the bottom heftier canes & remove the twiggy ones; Hopefully the end result will be a better looking 'fountain'. The tornado that came through in late Fall broke a few of the thick vertical canes - I'm afraid they may eventually shoot branches that will look like horns on top ... now that would make a real weird creature, don't you think? I'll perhaps be giving hair cuts as I needed.
Wow! I'd love to see photo of your Clem laced PGs & Ts! Clems go thru those, notoriously ugly, 'heat wilts' almost overnight, in our zone & take their jolly old time to bounce back. I wonder too - how will they survive the H2O requirements of the Hs?
Thanks again for responding with your pruning idea! Â:)
Hi George - This is an update on my, now fairly large Li'l L ... we finally got the much awaited, brief rain storm (July was cooler but very dry & windy) ... to my dismay, all the lambs (the rams included) were down except 3 or 4 of the center canes bearing smaller lambs ... these were the tall center canes that had to be pruned, after a freak tornado, broke off the huge blossoms, last Fall.
The corralling effort helped only a bit ... perhaps I should have used 4' stakes & criss-cross'd twines up higher, as needed. The 2.5' stake/twine supports held OK, before this heavy rain. It took me a couple of hrs to untangle the mess & pulled the lambs back up, by criss-crossing nylon ties amongst their heavier canes ... dejavu ... once more, but with a much smaller, Li'l L in '08!!! I can't believe how much water those blossoms held ... I was soaked coming out from under all that tangle!!! LOL Had to remove several lower large blossoms to get him to look half decent!
I think I'll prune him down to a smaller bush, come Spring! I've noticed that the pruned, center canes, produced multiple branches, with the right size lambs, to my liking!!! Â;)
How is yours looking now a days? Oh, & on the Clems laced PGs & Ts ... how do you handle those intertwined, 'fuzzy-after-blooms' of the clems?
I hope Marshall chimes in too, I'm curious to know, how his mass-planted Li'l Ls are doing?
MD, since there will be no pictures from me this year, you should rely on my verbal description :-)
In a spring I still was unsure of what to do with it and did kind of mix between different shapes (it's positioned in a such way that it can be viewed from the front only):
1. Left 2 tallest (about 1m tall) canes in a back and supported them by stakes to form a large and wide 'V'. Cleaned the legs from all side buds except one pair on a top of each cane,
2. Left 2 medium (about 70-75cm tall) canes in front and cut them to 50-60cm. On a frontal view those two canes fill the space between the legs of the 'V'. Some side buds were removed,
3. Left 5 or 6 small (30-40cm) weeping branches at the base to form a 'skirt'.
Now, when it's in a full bloom, I can't say that I like result very much, though shrub definitely look non-traditional and worth a conversation :-)
-Each leg of 'V' now have a pair of large weeping 'finials' (your word),
-Middle canes produced several medium size panicles on a short branches,
-'Skirt' is formed from the numerous small 'lambs' laying on a ground.
I'm not sure I explained it correctly, but I tried my best.
Anyway, next year I'm planning do something to it and not leave it 'as is'. At this point I'm leaning toward removing the middle part and keep just 'V' and a 'skirt'.
"... how do you handle those intertwined, 'fuzzy-after-blooms' of the clems? "
I didn't do anything, hydrangeas took care of everything-clem's spent flowerheads are completely covered by hydrangea's foliage :-))
Here is a pic of my Little Lamb, taken today. This is s good size shrub. I planted it last year but it had almost no roots (in a large pot) so I had to really baby it, watering it every day. It's doing great this year.
Thanks for responding, George - This is actually fun ... followed your description with a rough diagram & filled the spaces as I pictured in my... imagine!!! Â;) I'll keep my diagram & compare to the photo, I hope to see in '10 season ... let's see how well I picture from your description!
I regret not having taken a shot of Li'l L after the storm for my pict'l journal.
I think, in '10 season I'll do as your Friend #1 does (your post of 8/16/08) except, will still raise the twiggy bottoms, from the river-rocks floor. Knowing now, that the pruned, thick/tall, center canes, each produced at least 3 smaller blossoms I'll be happier with a more rounded shrub with, hopefully, more uniformly & daintier lambs.
I wonder if your Friend #1 uses supports & creates a spider-web, network w/ twines/nylons, to keep twiggy canes from tangling? It was a feat, doing it, after the fact, in my case. What I did last May, was create a cage, ahead of time, unleashed the center canes & perhaps just 2 or so, diagonally run, nylon hoses ... definitely, not enough!!!
Li'l L seems to be a challenge ... I'm willing to take!!!
TIA ... G'nite George! Â;)
Sue, great picture of the great plant!
Which brings me to the question, if only two years old LLamb look like this (very similar to 2-3 y.o. PG), then what is the difference between them and why should I grow another PG?
MD, you don't have to wait till 2010. Picture above is representative of 90% of how mine looks right now. 'Skirt' is identical. Middle part is very similarly looking. The only difference is that top of the shrub instead of many small/medium panicles have 4 huge 'finials' as a result of removing all side buds from the 'V'-forming canes.
Now try to imagine if all vertical canes from the picture above will be striped out of foliage and blooms except at the very top, then you'll see what I'll try to do with mine next year: two-tier multistem fountain.
BTW, my Limelight 'tree with a skirt' in its 4th year of training look absolutely stunning this year.
But you have to wait untill 2010 to see it :-))
Congratulations Sue!!! If only we can freeze him to this 2nd season stage! BTW what have you got growing there for ground cover, is it for the Li'l Ls to lay on? I have a site where a mattress of Periwinkle, would have been great for Li'l L ... Tardiva's lower blossoms look great on!
Indeed George ... this is why we love this little guy & worth the efforts we are presently brain-storming ... to embark for 2010 season!!! Â;) The problem starts in the 3rd season ... if left unpruned, as we did!
I reviewed my 2nd season pics ... Li'l L looked quite impressive, even w/o the soft grass underneath, to lay themselves on! The album I posted (LL's season 3) in this thread, shows the reason for this discussion/problem-solving, to try & revert to smaller lambs instead of the huge finials, on the taller center canes.
George, I'm sure by now, you know I have the patience of an old madonna ... will wait for stunning L'light's photos in 2010 ... you can start posting soon after your NEW YEAR bash!!! LOL ... would be great Winter conversations!!! Â;)
Hi George - thought I'd show you Li'l L after setting him all back up ... see what I mean by the effect of pruning the center canes, by a few inches ... the clusters reverted to daintier lambs.
Pruning a bit more heavily, in Spring '10 will perhaps, give me a true-to-name, smaller bush, huh?
TIA for comment/thoughts! Â;)
Here is a link that might be useful: Li'l L after the rescue!
That is creeping Jenny or Charlie (one of those types) growing under it. Three plants were put in about a month ago. They are really going crazy. I love Periwinkle, but it tends to be invasive here. I am planning to put some near my Incrediball, in the tree well, where there is no where for it to go.
I have no idea how old my shrub is, it's about 4x4, maybe 5x5. I bought it last year, but it was already quite big, it was $80. I needed something to anchor that corner, so I didn't want to wait. So far the LL looks nothing like Annabelle or Incrediball, smaller blooms than Pee Gee.
Oooops sorry Sue - if that's Creeping charlie/jenny, better pull it before it moves into your nice green grass!!!
I seem to be able to control Periwinkle with periodic trims ... simply love the carpet of small p'blues in Spring, while Tardiva is filling up & looks wonderful with the 2 KO Roses flashing at the same time!!!
Li'l L was a good choice for you corner, I think! Â;) I just wish I could make my 4y/o produce the daintier clusters they are supposed to.
Yeah, I've heard it can go a little crazy. Once a week I go over and bend the stems so they cuve back in rather than out. I hope it pulls up easy, when the time comes (like next spring, I'll probably have to pull up some). I have it planted in another spot (between the porch and a Japanese Maple) and it's growing less rapidly, possibly because it's much more shade. I just live the color of it, though!
I planted in '06 - in 2007, I surrounded my Li'l L with one of those garden wire-fencing & strung, (criss-crossing) nylon hose to keep the branches from splaying down from the weight of the blossoms (a suggestion, from an experienced one, in this forum). Last year I replaced the shorter wire-fencing with a set of 2' ones & did the same net-work of ties, with nylon hose - the lower branches held up OK, but as you might have read in the discussion here, the problem became, the rapid growth of the center canes, bearing huge blooms.
My Li'l L is now in his 4th yr & 6'tall X 5'wide ... it rained until noon today, the branches are weeping except for the center canes, that I bundled recently ... I'm more & more convinced on pruning quite a bit by next Spring & see if mine can be better behaved!!! LOL
MD, I guess you are not so happy with LLamb because you expect it to do what it is not suppose to do.
You said, 'I just wish I could make my 4y/o produce the daintier clusters they are supposed to.'
Nope! It's not suppose to produce 'daintier clusters', but rather quite opposite.
Look what Polly said on 9/4/08:'... The description of the plant is that it is a smaller plant than PG. That it has LARGER INFLORECENCES than PG, and that it has SMALLER FLOWERS than PG. This was the description in the patent application.'...which is exactly the qualities it exibit.
G'mornin George - Oooops I completely confused FLOWERS to mean INFLORECENCES ... I guess I READ, what I was HOPING for, at the time! Â:( In any case. I'll try pruning a bit more severely, come Spring, just the same and see!
The river-rocks floor is not a good choice for his planting site. I'm still hoping to see, how Marshall's flag pole, Li'l L mass planting, looks like now-a-days
Thanks for calling my error!!! Â;)
George directed me to this thread when my question about LL went unanswered on the shrubs forum. I know this thread has involved several very experienced and experimental growers. But all the trussing, supporting, pruning says "this plant needs a lot of attention to look good." Maybe there's another choice out there. I don't want to get off topic, so perhaps I'll post a new question.
I'm impressed with your collective tenacity and long attention spans!
"this plant needs a lot of attention to look good."
Very well said, Marie :-))
Hi Marie - I guess we are bound by a stubborn kind of LOVE with a good sprinkling of CHALLENGE ... quite a tenacious group, indeed!!! ~Â;)
I have a belief, that the road to beauty is always under construction! Many of us never leave the road, I suppose!
Please join us, in our Hydrangeas, pursuit-road ... lots to behold with awe ... 'tis a great deal of fun!!!~Â;)
Enjoy your search & choice!
Probably that was why I gave LL away to a colleague! LOL! I do miss it sometimes, but then there are other paniculatas that do not require so much work and look great anyway.... OK, now flame me! LOL
I have a few hydrangeas: tardiva, endless summer, oakleaf, and that one with very dark stems. That one had so many "dead" stems this spring, that I pruned them back. I cannot believe I pruned like a novice, but I certainly did: no blooms except around the base where I did not want to stoop to prune.
I have a place called my "dead zone" that I simply cannot get to work. Things grow but nothing looks right. LL attracted me because I want a late summer bloomer, good seed heads, sturdy small shrub 3.5 to 4 feet tall and wide, that will lower the center of the garden's gravity in this area.
I will stake 8 foot lilies, but I tossed all my herbaceous peonies because of their staking demands. So I'm not looking for something that can't hold up its head proudly, all by itself.
Hey, thanks for the welcome! My mom had a lacecap hydrangea, but 10 years ago I don't think there was a varieity for zone 5. Is there now?
Marie, Blue Billow (most likely) and Blue Bird (very possible) will bloom in z5b without winter protection. Also, there are good reports on Woodlander, but I have no first hand experience with it, so no endorsement on my part.
There is a specimen H. Bluebird in Goffstown NH (5A?) at Uncanoonuk Mt. Perennials. I saw it about 4-5 weeks ago. It was gorgeous!!! Perhaps it was in a protected spot.
I just went out and looked at my LL which is mostly being hidden by 6' monarda. Its the third year. Not sure what a "lamb" panicle looks like. Maybe I have no imagination, but I can't see it. Does anyone have a picture that can help my lamb-challenged imagination?
There was so much monarda around it, I can't even observe the shape.
I love the flagpole picture. I can't imagine TWENTY-SIX plants in that circle!!! Holy Cow! That is my problem with design for sure. I think small. I probably would have done 5 and waited 10 years for the show. LOL
Hi wendyb - here's my LL '08 album for you to get an idea. LL was planted in '06 & have never been pruned. The largest panicles were 12"long & 8-9" wide. The avg & majority meas at 7-8" long. These year, basically similar looking, just taller & wider by a foot.
Hope these photos help!
Here is a link that might be useful: LL in '08
Enjoyed the photos, ditas. Thanks!
Reviving this excellent thread because I finally saw LL 'in the flesh' so to speak today. It was in a nursery pot and from everything I re-read today that may be when it looks its best without trussing, knitting, boosting, staking and whatever else y'alls willing to do for this babe.
Now it is 2010. Are any of you realllllllly tired of LL's upkeep?
The only upkeep I do is to trim off the dead flowers at the end of the season and trim out the little bit of dead wood each spring.
If you look at my photo from last August you will see what my Little Lamb looks like. That is pretty much what it looked like later in the season. This season is might be slightly larger, but there is no sign it will be floppy. I may have just purchased a very mature shrub. It doesn't lay on the ground the way people describe. I believe I planted it summer of 2008, but it was a fairly large plant (although I recall it had almost no roots, I was actually worried it wouldn't make it), so it isn't *really* just 3 years old. I actually mis-purchased...I wanted something that would get large for that corner (like Tardiva), but I'm happy with it.
If you want floppy, you should see my Swan.
Post any pictures you can. I'm always interested.
G'morning! - I'm glad you brought this thread back up, Marie! I did something drastic to LL in Mar to see how he turns out to be in Jul ... truly hard pruned the little guy ... took all the lower canes & twigs, shortened by 6-8" & bundled the 7 vertical center canes w/ enough room to breathe ... left him alone 'til just now to check any cluster bud productions. He is perhaps still pouting at the severe treatment & came w/ clusters a week later than previous seasons - to think that our early Spring turned my surround looking like heaven!
The only pic taken was 3/31 - newly pruned & bare. He looks great, fully leafed-out & tall w/ a few twiglets at the base ... will post pix of before & after perhaps in Jul.
TIA for reading!
Sorry to bring this thread back up ~ couldn't find a fresher discussion & since the last entry last Jun (mine) no follow up! The reason LL turned out too ugly to even photograph.
I remember George (Ego45) mentioning on another thread that he was near giving up trying to manipulate & beautify LL (I should have clipped the thread). I'm determined to keep LL where he is & did some more drastic pruning to 18" (all of his woods) & will see the creature he turns out to be. Ostritch got frustrated & gave his away ~ replace w/ Quick Fire - I think. I'm hoping that George & Marshall -(mrgpag of famed 26 LLs planted around an OH Library flag pole) would chime in!!!
Would very much appreciate if both would!!!
Well, I'm sorry to report that about half the Little Lambs in the bed died over the winter - not sure why. Possibly went into the winter dry as the staff did not irrigate that bed and we had a dry fall. The bed will be replanted this time with Little Lime.
Oh Marshall ~ so glad to hear from you in this thread at last (I realize you are busy). From everything I read about Little Lime ~ sounds like a winner. However lesson #1 water is an important ingredient in plant life huh! Hopefully irrigation won't be forgotten after all the heavy lifting you'll be doing there!
My LL looks good w/ greens bushing out but what *creature* he grows to be this season is a big *?*
Thanks fory our post to answer my wonderings!!!
Sorry to bring this old thread back up ~ for an update.
Tired of manipulating LL as did (George)Ego45 ~ I hope he chimes in as well for updates of his. Any way last Fall I decided to prune the stubborn li'l guy (really more like Rams!) hard ~ down to 2ft & kept his stakes & wired around like a cage as I didn't know if he insists on his nature! His looks so much better this 2012 w/ smaller blooms (so far & just now flashing open) a bit late coming out of my efforts at taming, despite our earty start this season.
I don't want to dig & relocate (he is my 1st Hpanic & dedicated to our li'l Angel) ~ but rather challenged my *tenacity* in the required work to make him look admirable!!!
I'm glad you found a way to make LL look good. I have had much the same experience as you and others described above. First full year in the ground, LL looked great. Second year, it sent the tall shoots up the middle. I tried pruning them back, but waited to long, so LL looked a lot like a donut that year...not a pretty sight. The next year, I let the shoots go and it still looked terrible. LL never developed strong stems like my other P's, so every time it rains (which hasn't been often enough this summer), it flops and looks bad. It is just starting to bloom this year, so we'll see. I don't have any sentimental ties to this one, so I'm thinking Little Lime might be a better option.
I don't find mine difficult at all- I shape them very early in the spring and they do just great. They were even very easy to keep happy during this years horrible drought which just ended twenty minutes ago :)
I don't mind the pruning because very early spring is when I am itching to do something and once the roses are done it's full speed ahead on the Little Lambs and Limelights.