WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Ten Tips for Growing Hydrangeas 1. SITE in full sun or part shade with afternoon shade best; too much shade yields fewer flowers. 2. PLANT in moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. 3. CONSERVE moisture with a two- to three-inch cover of organic mulch. 4. FERTILIZE once in the spring with a general purpose fertilizer (for example, 10-10-10). 5. USE a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants if growing blue-flowering bigleaf and mountain types. 6. PRUNE panicle and smooth hydrangeas in late winter or early spring, cutting down to 12 inches, as they flower on new growth. 7. PRUNE oakleaf, mountain, and older cultivars of bigleaf types right after bloom, as they flower on old wood. 8. PRUNE new cultivars of bigleaf hydrangeas after bloom, as they bloom on old or new wood. 9. REMOVE approximately one-third of oldest stems annually to achieve fuller, healthier plants. Winter is the best time to do this, as it's easier to reach into the plant and assess its overall shape. RUTH FURMAN 10. PURCHASE hydrangeas when in bloom so you can see how the plant blooms; too often there is mislabeling or varieties get mixed. Also, note that those cultivars that bloom blue or pink may be pink in the pot, as the soil mix is alkaline. When you plant it in your garden with acidic soil it will turn blue. There are amendments one can add to change soils from acid to alkaline or vice versa, but it takes a while to work through and the effects do not last. flowers (12-15 inches long). 'Snow Queen' is a heavy bloomer with inches). An oakleaf hydrangea in your garden will reward you with smaller flowers (6-8 inches) held upright on robust stems, but my year-round interest. favorite is the double-flowered 'Snowflake' with big white heads (to Another hardy, easily grown native is the smooth hydrangea, H. over 12 inches). If space is an issue or you want a container plant try arborescens, which in the wild is a loose and open shrub and rather 'Pee Wee,' a 3-foot compact plant with smaller flower heads (4 to 5 coarse. The cultivated forms are dense, round mounds and when the s u m m e r 2 0 1 3 | We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e 19

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