Saturday, October 1, 2022

This Month in the Garden: Feature Flowering Shrub Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band'

Feature Flowering Shrub: Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band'
Welcome to This Month in the Garden! There's a new hydrangea in town and it is called Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band'. I have been testing this Proven Winners cultivar for two years now and it has proven to be cold resistant enough to thrive in a planter on my back patio, while maintaining an abundance of long-lasting blooms on a compact plant. 
Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band' Springtime/Summer
Growing to a mature size of just 2.6 feet tall by wide, this newer cultivar is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and combines the best features of mophead flowers, displaying large colorful pink, blue or purple flowers (pink in alkaline soil, blue in acidic soil and purple in neutral soil) on a stronger plant that better withstands winter temperatures and reblooms from late spring until frost. 
Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band' Late Summer
For best performance, plant Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band' in a moist well-drained soil in partial shade. Morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal for this plant. This cultivar blooms on both old and new wood and may be shaped to keep more compact; however, all mophead hydrangea are best not to be pruned, as it can have a negative effect on the number of blooms. It is best to only prune out dead or damaged branches once the plant pushes out new growth in spring. To keep your plants healthy and to encourage more robust blooms, apply a slow-release fertilizer in early and late spring. Adding a layer of mulch around the base of the plant will help to conserve moisture and serve as protection from severe cold during the winter months.
Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band' Autumn
The default color for most mophead hydrangea is pink in a neutral soil (pH 7.0) and higher and will turn towards blue in a more acidic soil containing aluminum sulfate. In a soil with a pH of 6.5 or under, a bluer tone is present. I presently have my hydrangea in a neutral potting soil and am loving blooms that start off as a vibrant pink in springtime, then slowly change to deeper tones of pinkish red to welcome in fall.
Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band' Autumn
I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for October and if you are looking for a new compact, long blooming hydrangea, this one is a winner in my zone 7a garden! 
Let's Dance Hydrangea Series Size Chart (Photo Credit: Proven Winners)

Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! For more information on Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band', visit the Proven Winners website. Until we meet again...be well, and as always...Happy Gardening!

 For gardening inspiration and design tips visit: My Author Page and Books

Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2010-2022. All rights reserved. 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up September Late Summer Garden Interest

Welcome to my Long Island Garden!

Tree of Life
As the summer winds down and the seasons are changing, there are slight hints of autumn with more comfortable temperatures in the 70's to lower 80's and finally some rainfall after seven weeks of drought like conditions. It was one of the hottest and driest summers I can remember here growing up on Long Island.  As the garden is officially in late summer mode, there are blooms to look forward to keep the garden going through fall, with more surprises in store for the winter months. Come along with me for a tour of  my zone 7a garden!
Weeping Norway Spruce and Sedum 'Pure Joy' (Stonecrop)
The first stop along the way is this Weeping Norway Spruce with a surprise below, that of Sedum 'Pure Joy', a more compact 10-12 inch form of Stonecrop with light pink blooms that appear in August and September. I love this compact form, as it stays low to the ground and blooms profusely, displaying a mound of  beautiful late summer color. 
Knock Out Roses
This vibrant red Double Knock Out Rose continues to bloom throughout summer into fall, and will continue to until the first frost. No deadheading is necessary, bit I like to keep the shrubs compact by pinching off higher growth. This encourages more re-blooming too.
Sedum 'Thundercloud'
Another form of groundcover Sedum is that of Sedum 'Thundercloud', displaying flat white blooms that resemble clouds, hence the name. It is low growing to just 10-12 inches high by wide and is an attraction to butterflies!
Liriope 'Big Blue' (Lilyturf)
While I often show Variegated Lilyturf in my garden, here is a look at Liriope 'Big Blue', which is really striking this time of year with its purple blooms. It certainly adds some color to the shade border.
St. John's Wort Late Summer
The St. John's Wort in the back shade garden is pushing out a few more of its yellow flowers along with its pretty red fruits, and next is Pulmonaria showing off its wonderful blue-green speckled foliage. 
Pulmonaria & Heuchera 'Caramel'
The Pulmonaria (Lungwort) resides next to the caramel foliage of Heuchera 'Caramel' (Caramel Coral Bells). Blooms will appear on the Pulmonaria in springtime and the Coral Bells are now finishing up their spikes of delicate pinkish-white flowers.
Shade Garden
Also in the back shade garden is a combination of Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass) with Leucothoe 'Axillaris'. Have I mentioned I love combining foliage?!
Maiden Grass 'Yaku Jima' and Sedum 'Brilliant'
On the sunnier side of the property along the pool is Dwarf Maiden Grass 'Yaku Jima' with its late summer plumes, along with Sedum 'Brilliant', which is a compact, medium sized form of Stonecrop.
Spider Hosta Blooms!
Spider Hosta is always interesting to look at, especially when it is pushing out its deep purple blooms in late summer...
Pollinator!
and it's nice to see some pollinators enjoying the garden.
Daylily 'Stella D Oro' Late Summer
'Stella D Oro' Daylily is generating some new blooms after I rejuvenated it back in July. I love seeing the yellow blooms continue this time of year!
Sedum Groundcover Mix
The Sedum groundcover mix poolside has finished blooming, but the foliage is always interesting to look at. I will leave the dried seed heads for now, just for show and for the birds to enjoy too!
Back Island Bed
During this time of year, Hydrangea 'Limelight Prime' is still beautiful with its white blooms that fade to pink at the summer progresses. The Hydrangea is accompanied by Hinoki Cypress 'Compacta', Mugo Pine, Coral Bells 'Palace Purple' and Crape Myrtle.
Hydrangea 'Limelight Prime'
Here are the voluminous blooms up close!
Evergreen Garden
Behind the Boxwoods along the fence resides my mother's iris garden, which is done now for the season, but  evergreens such as Hinoki Cypress 'Verdoni' and Blue Globe 'Montgomery' Spruce keep the garden going through the fall and winter months.
Mandevilla Vine Late Summer
The Mandevilla Vine by the back entry is still going strongand Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band' is doing beautifully in the 20 inch planter I have it in from last year.
Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band'
I am enjoying having this colorful and compact hydrangea right on the patio where all can see!
Thank you for Visiting!

I hope you enjoyed your visit to my September garden and as always, I look forward to your comments and visiting your garden too! Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday FotosFriday Bliss at Floral Passions, Macro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party every other Monday with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden.  
A Guide to Northeastern Gardening In the News:

-It has been another busy season in the horticultural world and I am looking forward to retuning to virtual conferences in the fall and meeting up with like minded individuals. 

-My newest book on Shade Gardening is coming along and now undergoing the editing process...more news to come for 2023!

-In the reading world, a friend introduced me to a wonderful read for youngsters, called Garden Gruesome by Nelson R. Elliott. It touches on a different aspect of gardening through the eyes of a child as the author takes the reader through a day in the life of Gruesome Gus, as he explores his first time in the garden. There is a lesson to be learned, there are critters that lurk beneath the blooms! I enjoyed this adorable and educational book as an adult, so I think any child would enjoy it too! (Available on Amazon)

Thursday, September 1, 2022

This Month in the Garden-Nature’s Beauty

Welcome to This Month in the Garden!
Welcome to This Month in the Garden! I for one cherish nature's beauty and all the garden has to offer, and have done so all my life. The garden brings me peace and hope during the most difficult of days and I have learned to take it all in, cherish every moment and enjoy the beauty around me. Sometimes no words are needed and all it takes is a simple photograph to make one smile. For this month's post, I am doing just that and sharing a few of my favorite things from over the years. I hope they can brighten your day too and bring you joy.
Monarch Butterfly on Butterfly Bush

Dwarf Red Pine Springtime 

Bumblebee on Salvia in May

Peony 'Karl Rosenfeld' and Salvia 'May Night' in the June Garden

Late Summer Bumblebee on Echinacea

A Sweet Visitor

A Touch of Autumn-Montauk Daisy

Temple of Love at Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island, NY

Blue Atlas Cedar Summer

New Life in the Garden-Springtime Morning Dove & Baby

The beauty of Conifers-Blue Montgomery Spruce

Summer Blooms-Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'

Beautiful Knock Out Roses

Mysterious and Amazing Dragonfly Visitor 
Giant Mushroom!

Sunflower Field Eastern Long Island Late Summer Visit

"In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.  My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful."  ~ Abram L. Urban


I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for September and that these views perhaps gave you a smile for the day. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! Until we meet again...be well, enjoy life and as always...Happy Gardening!

Monday, August 15, 2022

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up August: Late Summer Long Island Garden

Welcome to my August Garden!
The temperatures have finally moderated after several weeks of the "dog days" of August with rounds of temperatures in the 90's and one of the hottest summers I can remember here in the northeast. Thankfully, the heat has now broken and temperatures are back into the upper 70's and low 80's, and all we need now is some much needed rain. There are many blooms to be seen for the month of August, so do join me for a tour of my Long Island garden!
Mandevilla Vine
The first stop is by the back doorway entrance where Mandevilla is producing an abundance of its pink blooms. I make it a point of getting one of these each year and love how the blooms just keep on coming!
Perennial Border
Along the back walkway the Daylilies and Echinacea are finishing up their display. This view is from the start of the month, since the blooms came a couple of weeks earlier this August with the heat.
Patio Garden
As Crape Myrtle 'Sioux' is now blooming in the back island bed, and Platycodon (Balloon Flower) is in full bloom along the patio border. This variety 'Komachi' is unusual in that the balloon-like blue flowers do not burst open like in other varieties. Rather, they remain closed and can be popped like bubble wrap once they dry out!
Platycodon 'Komachi' (Balloon Flower)
Here is Platycodon 'Komachi' close up with the silvery-white foliage of Lamb's Ear in the backdrop.
Lilium 'Stargazer'
The Lilium 'Stargazer' in the pool surround bloomed much earlier this year and is now pretty much done, but I had to share a view from just two weeks ago. The blooms were magnificent this year! 
Hydrangea 'Limelight Prime'
In the back island bed, Hydrangea 'Limelight Prime' is blooming with its stunning greenish-white blooms that turn to pure white and then to a pinkish hue as they age. This variety stays smaller than 'Limelight', growing to a maximum of 4-6 feet high by wide and is hardy in USDA zone 3-8.
Back Island Berm<
As you know, I am a fan of foliage combinations! Here is Sedum 'Brilliant', Heuchera 'Caramel' and Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow'. The purplish foliage of the ajuga contrasts nicely with the caramel colored Heuchera and green foliage of Sedum in the backdrop, which will soon display pink blooms.
Patio Garden
Along the patio garden is another foliage combination with the chartreuse foliage of  Dwarf Cryptomeria and the blue needles of 'Blue Star' Juniper. I have strived over the years to incorporate as many colorful evergreens as possible throughout the garden to provide all season interest.
Back Island Berm-Crape Myrtle & Hydrangea
Evergreens Hinoki Cypress 'Compacta' and Mugo Pine reside along the island bed with Crape Myrtle  Hydrangea and Coral Bells 'Palace Purple'.
Crape Myrtle Exfoliating Bark
One of the features of Crape Myrtle is its interesting exfoliating bark, which sheds this time of year...
Crape Myrtle 'Sioux' Blooms!
and of course, the blooms are spectacular!
Rudbeckia 'Little Goldstar'
Dwarf Rudbeckia 'Little Goldstar' is all in bloom. This variety stays well-behaved in its space and tends to be more compact compared to the traditional form.
Groundcover Sedum Mix
This Sedum groundcover mix, featuring Sedum 'Angelina' and 'Dragon's Blood' adds interest all summer long to the pool surround...
Future & Past Blooms-Sedum and Astilbe
while this combination of Sedum 'Brilliant' and Astilbe 'Visions' adds foliage and blooms, with Astilbe blooming in July and Sedum due to bloom in August.
Dwarf Maiden Grass 'Yaku Jima' & Sedum 'Brilliant'
Behind the Sedum is a backdrop of a single Dwarf Maiden Grass 'Yaku Jima', which will soon be forming its plumes.
Hemerocallis (Daylily) 'Stella D Oro'
Along the pool perimeter and patio garden, Daylily 'Stella D Oro' is producing some new blooms after I rejuvenated it back in July...
Echibeckia
while Echibeckia (a hybrid formed from combining Echinacea and Rudbeckia) is blooming in the perennial border. I find this cultivar does best in full sun (6 hours or more) with moderate watering.
Knock Out Rose Pink
Double Knock Out Rose just keeps on giving with its bold red and pink blooms that continue throughout summer and into fall until the first frost.
Knock Out Rose Red
Besides the continuous blooms, their fragrance is nice too!
Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band'
In a container planter on the back patio is Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band'. This is its second season in a planter and it is doing very well, providing blooms throughout the entire summer. I have this one in a partially shaded location with late day sun and I keep it well watered. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9, this compact hydrangea grows to just 2-3 feet tall by wide.
Sedum 'Kamtschaticum' (Stonecrop)
For some late summer color, here is Sedum 'Kamtschaticum' with its bright yellow blooms, while staying low as a groundcover.
Front Island Bed-Sedum 'Pure Joy'
In the front island bed, Sedum 'Pure Joy' is starting to bloom with its light pink flowers on a small, one foot tall plant. Hosta, Weeping Norway Spruce and Dwarf Cryptomeria are in the backdrop.
Lampost Garden-Coreopsis 'Zagreb'
Last, but not least is Coreopsis 'Zagreb' blooming along the driveway border...
Driveway Border-Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'
with Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit', which is not at all happy with the extreme heat. Maybe it will get another round of blooms now that the temperatures have gotten cooler.
Hydrangea 'Tardivia'
To end the tour, here is Hydrangea 'Tardivia' tree hydrangea on the northern facing side of the property with its magnificent fragrant white panicle flowers, and one of my favorite late summer bloomers!
Thank you for Visiting!
I hope you enjoyed your visit and as always, I look forward to your comments and seeing what's happening in your garden! Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday FotosFriday Bliss at Floral Passions, Macro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party every other Monday with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden.  Are you looking for some gardening inspiration? If so, visit my author page and books!