Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hydrangea Update and Starting Seeds

Remember these beauties from my neighbor's garden? 

Oh, how I love hydrangeas...

aren't they just the most gorgeous flowers?

My neighbor has 3 large hydrangea bushes that she graciously allows me to pick blooms from.
In return I share fresh veggies from my garden. She happens to be a vegetarian, so it works out well.

I have about 5 hydrangea plants that I've been trying to grow for years, but they've never taken off. After so many years, they are still as small as the day we put them in the ground and, of course, don't produce gorgeous blooms like these and that's why I don't just go out and buy more plants.

So, I planted a few of the leaves from my neighbor's shrubs last June and hoped for the best. You can read about it here.  Over the months, I did the best I could and didn't let the soil dry out and kept them in a sunny window in the breakfast room.  
...and waiting patiently
that they would grow.

Growing things takes patience...uh, just like raising children. 
Sometimes you think your work is all for naught...

Then, one day they surprise you  and you see that things are "taking".

See the new growth?
  I think they'll be ready to plant in the ground come Spring...which is only just a few short weeks away.

Which brings me to the seed starting...
I haven't had much luck starting seeds indoors. I tried it with tomatoes, peppers and some herbs and just found it easier to go buy the plants.

But the stubborn part of me just wants to try again...
So, a few weeks ago I saw some inexpensive galvanized metal shelves at Ikea for $14.99.

Since Mr. Fanatic LOVES putting things together, I let him do it for me ; )

Not sure I needed 2 for this project, but I'm sure I can use them somewhere else later.

I already had a couple of large covered starting trays, so all I needed was to pick up some seed starting mix at Lowe's.

I mixed the dirt with water in a large stainless steel bowl, then filled the tray with dirt. Then I planted 18 broccoli seeds, 9 onion and 9 collards. Will plant more broccoli in another week. I've had a tough time with broccoli, but there's always hope.

I know it's kind of strange, but I put the shelves up in front of the office window. It's the only large, southern facing window in the house, so hopefully they will do well there.

The cover will help keep the little seeds warm.

I'm already looking forward to fresh broccoli ...

 and hoping for a successful garden.

Are you  ready for Spring?

It will be here before you know it!



  1. Bravo on rooting the hydrangeas Pam. I have a large Nikko Blue one and I layered two plants from it last year and I was so happy when the plants made it! I wonder if your neighbor would let you try layering with her plant?

  2. Oh, I can't wait to see some blooms from your hydrangeas! I can't start anything from seeds here because we don't have enough light anywhere in the house :( But I'm still looking forward for the gardening season!

  3. I am totally impressed that the hydrangeas have rooted! Yay you! Everything I have read about hydrangeas is that it's all about location and soil. We put in two hydrangeas 2 years ago and this past summer they did well even though I had planted them in full sun, which they supposedly don't like. Then I had to move them this past fall to a new spot because we had a new garden dug and of course they will be in full sun again - this was all before I found out they like some shade (oops, caught on not doing my research *sigh*)!
    So, looks like we both will be holding our breath to see the saga of the hydrangeas unfold! Good luck my new friend!
    Beth P
    P.S. I am still in love with those barn doors :D

  4. Oh, I remember your garden from last year and I am sure it will be wonderful again. I've not done any seedings in years. Glad to hear the hydrangeas might be taking hold. I have terrible luck with them here as well as far as new ones go. I do have a few older ones that were here when I we moved here and they are holding up okay but stressing over the last few years. Might be time to cut them way back and start all over. They are so worth all the trouble though, aren't they? Good luck with the seedlings as well!

  5. I wish you success! You may end up with a farm of crops! I haven't had great luck with indoor seed starting but a lot of people do. The seeds are so small it must have been challenging!

  6. Hydrangeas are without a doubt my favorite flower. Ours are pitiful but my mom has the huge ridiculous blooms that are gorgeous like your neighbor's. I hope you seedlings take when you plant them!!

    Your garden is amazing. I'd really love to do a garden one of these days.

  7. I love following along with your gardening, Pam. When I was growing up,my grandparents always had the most amazing garden, with almost everything started from seed.

    We had some good gardens at the farm and started a lot of it with seeds. It is just fun to see the process.

    Wishing you the best with the hydrangeas. I would like to have more than the two Endless Summers but have had no luck.

  8. Since we live in the desert, we are enjoying our garden now. Tons of lettuce, onions and cauliflower and broccoli. The garlic will be ready soon too. Love it all. Looks like you are going to have a super garden. Great idea with the shelves and the starter trays. Hugs, Marty

  9. What a wonderful trade off! How FUN, I bet you were just giddy when you saw you work coming to fruition :))) My deer would love your Hyrdas ;) lol. Mine are upper deck only. Safe as long as they (the deer) don't climb stairs. Great job growing your own Hydrangeas. I hope they replant well for you!

  10. I am so envious....I cannot seem to start anything from seed. Your hydranga are looking awesome, good luck!

  11. You are patient my dear. Me, not so much. I will enjoy your gardens:)


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