Monthly Archives: August 2013

Air layering hydrangeas and seasonal pruning.

The Oakleaf hydrangeas I purchased as twigs in the clearance plant area of a local garden center years ago have grown so large! A few lower limbs are on the ground and over the brick boarder. I will use this opportunity to take cuttings or air layer root the limbs.

Sometimes the limbs will root on their own when they are in contact with the ground. This limb has a small root. I will pot it up and keep it moist and it should grow more roots throughout our warm Winter and by Spring be nicely rooted.

20130822-143126.jpgAir layering is easy in this situation. All you have to do is to dig a trench and bury the limbs leaving the limb attached to the plant and the leaf end exposed. By the end of the season they should be rooted.

The oak shaped leaves become a beautiful red and orange in the Fall. Very similar to maple leaves. The white blooms in the Spring are long and pointed. The plants grow very large as these are about 5 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

I removed the limbs which were hanging out of the bed and covering the brick edging. I will root these the old-fashioned way as cuttings.


Last year I buried a low limb on the Soutbern Magnolia in an effort to air layer it. It has grown fast and is firmly rooted so I will move it next Spring!


The old fashioned hydrangeas near the Basjoo bananas were trimmed today, too. They bloom on second year wood so the old wood that bloomed this year was removed and the new, green limbs were left to bloom next year. This also allows room for the Spring blooming bulbs when their season arrives next year.


I saved many cuttings to root. By next Fall these will be nicely rooted and beautiful small plants.


The Autumn clematis on the light post have gone crazy! They have grown over the lights. I had pulled them down earlier in the season but I will wait until they complete their blooming cycle before their annual Fall trim. Theses on the lamp post in front of the house are in partial shade so they peak a few weeks after the one on the mailbox. It grows faster in the full sun out by the street.


Autumn clematis blooms on new wood so an aggressive trim in the Spring keeps them clean and promotes a very heavy bloom. They are so fragrant you can smell the sweet scent about ten feet away! After blooming, a fluffy silver seed head forms. The freely seed through out the garden.



Filed under Plants, Seasonal Maintenance

I love Fall plant sales!

This is the time of season where you have to hit the clearance areas at the nurseries for plants! The majority of my plants has come from this yearly discount season!

I found this Joe Pye weed this weekend. (Eupatorium purpureum var. maculatum ‘Gateway’).

It had obviously been cut back hard at some point as it was only three feet tall but had come back nicely!


Not bad for $5.00.

I didn’t realize they were fragrant until it had been in the car. It has a slightly sweet and light fragrance. This variety is Gateway. It is a clumping perennial which reaches 4 to 5 feet tall. It’s a great late summer and fall bloomer and forms a strong clump.

Blue Mist flower will be blooming soon, too. It was recently renamed a eupatorium. It was formerly known a Conoclinium coelestinum. It’s also known as perennial ageratum.


It is a much smaller plant. It reaches about two feet tall with blue flowers in the fall. It can spread aggressively in moist soil but it requires basically no care! Its a common past-a-long plant in the South.

Another favorite pass-along plant is annual poinsettia.


I remember my grandmother collected seeds from relatives on Ocracoke Island in the 70s and I have taken them everywhere!

The problem is….. I need more land to garden! Does anyone have the winning numbers for the lottery?


Filed under Plants

The cool days of Fall…

Our weather is strange here in the Mid-Atlantic states. After months of hot and humid weather it has suddenly cooled!

Many plants who’s blooming is an indication of Fall have begun to show their stuff!

Autumn Clematis


Ginger Lilies


And the cucumbers are still cumin’ in the garden.


I will have to begin the annual Fall chore of pulling up English ivy and poison ivy seedlings and anything else that has volunteered where it should not be!


Ahhh! The joys of my half acre homestead!


Filed under General Gardening