Issue 1 - My hydrangeas are driving me crazy!
I have three pink Endless Summer hydrangeas in my front garden. They're supposed to be blue, but even with an acidic fertilizer, they're pink. I find their refusal to conform humorous, but their color isn't the issue. They simply don't bloom much. As in, hardly at all. When they do bloom, the flowers are either small or they quickly burn in the morning sun. Situated in an east facing site with quick access to a hose, they receive morning sun and afternoon shade. I tend to be a bit of a tough-love gardener, but these hydrangeas are cossetted drama queens and their every whim is catered to. Their dramatics begin every morning in mid-summer with limp, nodding blossoms and wilted leaves. By the afternoon, they're revived and refreshed, ready to repeat their performance tomorrow. My patience has worn thin, to say the least.
The Endless Summer hydrangeas grow between an enormous clematis and a gigantic American Cranberry bush, Viburnum triloba. Variegated dwarf abelia grow in front. The hydrangea closest to the clematis is the largest, while the other two are smaller and smallest.Problem 1 - Hydrangeas are barely blooming.
Problem 2 - They are a bit squished.
Problem 3 - I need the sun to rise in the north.
I was planning on moving the second hydrangea over a bit after I took out the littlest one so there isn't a big gap between them and the viburnum.
Here are my potential solutions:
Solution to Problem 2 - Move the smallest hydrangeas into the back garden.
Solutions to Problems 1 and 3 - Nada Nuthin' Zilch
I think the strange little flower in the back is blooming out of sheer obligation.
The few flowers that do exist are often hidden in the foliage. It's a constant game of hide and seek but I'm tired of playing.
Meanwhile, the abelia are fabulous!
If I move the littlest hydrangea, it would be going here:
I refuse to water the loosestrife. Drought is the only thing that slows it down!
This is a weird little spot between the fence and a huge crepe myrtle. It's full of thornless blackberry canes that the birds strip bare the minute a berry appears and an invasion of white gooseneck loostrife.
The patch of blackberries is large enough that I can pull up a few canes without depriving the birds. As for the loosestrife, I have so much of it, unless I want it to be the only plant in my garden, I NEED to pull it up. This spot is moist-ish and mostly shady. I just hope the hydrangea blooms back here.
Meanwhile, I still haven't solved Problems 1 and 3.
Issue 2 - My dwarf barberries are boring!
Several years ago I planted beautiful dwarf weigela under the viburnum, which at the time, was much smaller. They were wonderful for a while and then died of blight, or some other strange plant disease. I replaced them with three small dwarf barberries. I decided that any plant that could grow in a highway median could survive under the viburnum. They don't get enough sun to turn their leaves purple, but they're so boring I don't care. I just want them to go away. Or at least go somewhere else in the garden where they'll look better.
Can you think of a groundcover that can grow in partial shade, will fill in a 7 ft wide by 2 ft tall by 4 ft deep area and thrive in average clay loam in zone 7?
All hail the boring barberries!
'Miss Kim' lilacs grow next to the viburnum. Rainbow leucothoe grow in front of the lilacs but the leucothoe closest to the viburnum was rescued from under the lilac which had grown over it and it still resembles a mutant space alien, despite some heavy pruning.
What should I do?