Annabelle Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’) or smooth hydrangea is in full bloom at Plant Exchange Blog. The six-inch round flower head (corymb) of flowers is vase-worthy and can be dried, suspended upside down in a garage for fall arrangements. White flowers pair with other flower colors of the season.
This deciduous hydrangea (USDA Zone 3-9) grows to its four-foot height in spring and blooms about a month in mid-summer. This slightly protected site faces north. Roots respond to medium moisture, and this location by the house foundation provides consistent dampness. The greatest challenge of hydrangeas here is deer and rabbit pressure. The chairs and table are for sitting and a barrier for deer. Rabbit /deer guard granules also discourage most wildlife.
By mid-summer, spinach and some spring lettuce have bolted in summer intensity. For salads, a spinach replacement that grows well in a container on the deck is Swiss chard. Seeds were started outdoors in mid-spring in a mostly shade location and are ready for the first harvest today. Scissors cut the stems cleanly, leaving a couple of inches of growing plant for multiple harvests.
In this region, mid-summer is challenging to grow tender leaf lettuce, even in the shade. One alternative is choosing a mild, tasty summer mix that can withstand summer intensity. We are harvesting these lettuce leaves from Park Seed for the first time today.
Part of summer excitement is stopping to revel in this changing season with plants and a book selected too. Hope to see you next week!