Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Top-Heavy Hydrangeas

Image credit Gary

The bride loves hydrangeas.  No, that's not true: she LOVES hydrangeas.  They are beautiful plants, but in the bride's case there is a strong family component in that her grandmother was a hydrangea lover. We have numerous varieties scattered around the yard.

The variety shown above--Limelight--which will yield a volleyball-sized lime green flower head--is not quite in bloom.  Imagine such a large flower on the end of 6' long canes...then imagine rain.

Yes, the canes tip over, which is one of the drawbacks to this variety.  They require support, and in years past I have tried long pressure treated stakes combined with binder twine or that green horticultural tape that is used to stake trees.  With the plants winding up looking strangled.

So this year, I got some free bamboo (remember, your best bamboo is your free bamboo!) from a friend who was happy to pawn off some this invasive plant.  I pounded 4 stout pieces into the ground in a 4' square, then zip-tied the cross pieces.

The result is a natural-looking, aesthetically pleasing cage that holds up the plant very nicely.  If, when the flowers and the rains come, the canes still tip too much, I can raise the cross pieces or add another bar a tad higher up.

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