Category Archives: Blooming

toad in the garden

Garden Photos May 24th – 30th

It has been a very busy week in the gardens! Spring has sprung in Michigan and everyone is anxious to dig in. Due to warmer temperatures and lots of rain, plants are growing like weeds and weeds are growing like crazy.

I am excited to share pictures from my recent trip to P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm for the Garden Bloggers Reunion (exciting times!) and others from gardens I tended recently. I hope you enjoy this week’s garden photos!

Elephant Ears Hosta

Elephant Ears Hosta

Giant Allium

Giant Allium

dwarf fothergilla

Dwarf Fothergilla

Fairy Rose

Fairy Rose



Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart

toad in the garden

Garden Friend

Two and a Hoe

Limelight Hydrangea

Light Up Your Gardens!

The ‘Amen!’ of Nature is always a flower.

~Oliver Wendell Holmes

I simply adore this time of year when hydrangeas make their stunning debut and steal the show in the garden!  This is exactly what I wait for all season long!  The beauty of all hydrangeas take my breath away…but the exciting and unique ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea paniculata brings out the giddy gardener in me!

‘Limelight’ hydrangea’s soft lime green blooms held above the dark green foliage resemble a triple scoop of soft-serve ice cream. To me, the luscious tapered blooms just scream “Summer time!” The impressive flower heads can get up to 12 inches long and stand upright on the shrub for an extraordinary and lovely display with no drooping! It’s a strong shrub with flower power! Another thriller with this beauty… as autumn approaches, the blooms gracefully change to a rich deep pink that lasts through late fall and offers wonderful winter interest.

Of all the hydrangeas, the ‘Limelight’ is the most adaptable to different soil types and prefers full sun to light shade. In fact, they are extremely hardy and very tricky to kill…oh yes, my kind of ornamental shrub! The beautiful ‘Limelight’ can be easily maintained as a small shrub or trained into a small tree. I prefer pruning my ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas in early spring by simply cutting off the spent flowers to make way for new ones! Bonus: the spent flowers add great winter interest and are a constant reminder of what’s to come. A hard pruning in spring will produce larger flowers…just cut the shrub back by 1/3 to 1/2. I will prune my ‘Limelights’ back very hard this spring and as a result the foliage will be much denser.

Interested in attracting attention to your landscape and gardens with an outrageously gorgeous effect? I recommend planting the ‘Limelight’ in groupings or masses. Hands down you’ll not be sorry and you, too, will wait for their coming out party each season like I do!


Botanical name: Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’
Common name: ‘Limelight’ hydrangea
Hardiness: USDA Zone 3 -8
Bloom Time: Begins in late July – early August. Blooms last through late fall.
Height: 6′-8′
May all  your gardens grow!



Incrediball Hydrangea Bloom

We’re Still Standing!

There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.

~Franklin D Roosevelt

As we all know, life sometimes has a way of bringing us down. Some say those situations make us stronger; others say they make us weak. It is my belief what matters most is that in the end, we’re still standing!

Perhaps that was my huge attraction to the Incrediball™ hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Abetwo’ ppaf). Any offspring of ‘Annabelle’ that doesn’t flop is on the top on my list! This exhilarating hardy hydrangea bestows colossal 12-inch blooms that open lime green, turn snowy white, and then gradually fade to different shades of pale green. Bravo Proven Winners®!

Big attraction: Unlike its parent, ‘Annabelle’, sturdy thick stems thwart flopping in blustery weather! This Midwest gardener can attest to it because I planted three Incrediball™ hydrangeas last year. Admittedly, I am hooked – line and sinker! I would never hesitate and would happily recommend this hydrangea to any of my clients.

The Incrediball™ is very adaptable and thrives best in rich, well-drained, moist soil. Plant this beauty in groupings/masses, create a stunning hedge, or add to a garden or perennial border – the options are endless!

Bonus: butterflies cannot resist them either!

Double bonus:
The blooms make lovely fresh or dried flower arrangements. For a stunning display, I will adorn my holiday tree and trimmings with spent Incrediball™ blooms this season. (That’s another article!)

Maybe you will consider planting an Incrediball™ (or two, or three). The next time you feel down, gaze up at your Incrediball™ hydrangeas. If they can weather any storm, then so can we!  Happy planting!


Botanical name: Hydrangea arborescens ‘Abetwo’

Common name: Incrediball™ Hydrangea

Hardiness: USDA Zone 4 to 9

Bloom Time: Summer

Height: 4’ – 5’

Spread: 4’

May all your gardens grow!