Gardening, Other Obsessions

More Hydrangea Happiness!

I’m definitely not a Master Gardener, but may soon qualify as a Novice!  I’ve really only seen progress in the last few years as I’ve had time to spend online reading, reading, reading.  But I’m excited to report on my hydrangea experiment.  In an earlier post, I shared how every spring I was confronted with a collection of dead canes with new growth at the base.  Last fall, I finally found the reason for the dead canes and the solution.  It was with great fear and trepidation that I uncovered them a few weeks ago.  Check out my Bluebird lacecap hydrangea, paying attention to all the lovely little buds that are sprouting:

And the Endless Summer hydrangea, which sits in a very shady bed, is doing well too.  The buds are not as easy to see but they are there.
I am thrilled and looking forward to lots of blooms and growth.  I’ve had the Bluebird for ten years and it has always stayed about four feet tall.  The Endless Summer has only had one bloom the last two years.  I hope you’ll indulge me, since I’ll have to report a couple of more times on their progress.

But don’t stop there!

On to my next challenge—rabbits.

Last spring and summer I saw a number of plants decimated by our resident rodents.  Lady’s mantle, sea thrift, geum, black-eyed susan and asters all fell to those hungry hoppers.  I got pretty obsessed, because the rabbits came out primarily at sunrise and sunset, so I’d stare out the window hoping to head them off.  I tried a number of chemical and non-chemical options, all to no avail.

The war turned serious after I had a new flower bed dug.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, asters are their favorite snack, and I had the landscaper plant three beautiful plants right next to their hideout.  Silly me.

The war turned in my favor after I found this:

This is the

Eliminator Advanced Electronic Solar Energy

Outdoor Animal and Rodent Pest Repeller

and it works.  At least, it seemed to late last summer and into the fall.   It has an infrared motion sensor with three ultrasonic frequency settings as well as an optional LED light.  I have it set to the most sensitive setting so it will pick up the movements of very small critters.  Incursions definitely slacked off after I installed one in each bed near the tree line. 

This year, since the rabbits like the tender shoots of newly sprouted plants the best, I put the repeller out right away, but also surrounded their favorites with some temporary low fencing.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to take them down at some point, but am happy that the fencing blends in a bit.  Of course, I’ll report the results to you, the reader!

The battle rages!

Just because, here are a few of the flower beds as of early April.  I’d love to share them with you as they bloom into beauty!