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Planting French Country Shrubs in Spring

2019

· French Country,Decorating

Planting French Country

Shrubs in Spring

BOXWOOD

Beautiful Boxwood shrubs are simple, yet stunning when grouped together. These can also be clipped into ornamental shapes which are very popular amongst gardens in Southern France.

"Boxwood is like the "little black dress"

In winter this shrub’s strong shape, rich green color, and air of old-world formality dominates the garden, taking center stage. In summer, when the garden is in full-bloom, they meld into the background providing structure, enhancing without competing.

Boxwood Shrubs first arrived in the United States in the mid-1600s, and the genus has species all over the world, primarily in tropical or subtropical climates. Some species are cold-hardy, and many are considered slow-growing. These evergreens, specifically the English Boxwood, were once popular for being easily manipulated into a variety of shapes, such as squares and globes.

HOW TO PLANT:

Sun: Plant in full sun to partial shade.

 

Water: Water immediately after planting and once or twice a week in lieu of rain, especially in summer. After the first season, they will not need as much watering.

Soil is fundamental to the overall success of any shrub or tree.

Boxwood Shrubs require moderate watering. It is important to water the Boxwood Shrub immediately after planting, as this is when the shrub is most vulnerable. During the first season, water the Boxwood once or twice a week. This especially important during summer and dry spells. In the second season, once a week will be sufficient. After the first two seasons, natural rainfall should be satisfactory. Continue to monitor the Boxwood for over- or under-watering.

Simply dig the planting holes 2 feet wider than the root ball. Keep the depth of the hole consistent with the size of the root ball so your plant sits level with or just higher than the surrounding soil. By creating a slight mound, you help increase water drainage away from the base of the plant.

HYDRANGEA

Both of these hydrangeas are $9.99 from American Meadows

What Hydrangeas look like at first.

I believe Hydrangeas are a classic for everyone - not just French Country. Their an incredibly gorgeous flower with super large heads to them and perfect for clipping to fill a vase to beautify a side table in your home.

HOW TO PLANT:

Fall is the best season to plant hydrangeas, followed by early spring. The idea is to give the shrub plenty of time to establish a healthy root system before blooming. The best time of day to plant is early morning or late afternoon. The cooler parts of the day offer protection against heat stress. Keep new plants well-watered until established.

Knowing where to plant hydrangea shrubs is an important first step. Many people plant hydrangeas in beds next to their homes or fences. This is because hydrangeas love the warm morning sun, but they dislike the heat of the afternoon. The best place to plant hydrangeas is in a sheltered location with sunny mornings and shady afternoons. You often find this on the north or south side of your home. Avoid planting directly underneath trees, which can lead to competition for water and nutrients. High winds can rip and damage leaves and destroy the flowers.

Hydrangeas grow well in soil containing an abundance of organic material. Good drainage is vital. While hydrangeas like moist soil, they cannot tolerate being waterlogged. Soggy, poor draining soils can cause root rot. In just a few weeks, your hydrangeas can quickly die. If you have heavy soil, consider mixing in plenty of compost prior to planting to improve soil quality.

To plant hydrangeas, simply dig the planting holes 2 feet wider than the root ball. Keep the depth of the hole consistent with the size of the root ball so your plant sits level with or just higher than the surrounding soil. By creating a slight mound, you help increase water drainage away from the base of the plant.

One hydrangea can turn into many through simple propagation techniques. Bigleaf and panicle hydrangeas are best propagated through layering in early to mid-summer. All you have to do is:

Smooth and oakleaf hydrangeas put out new shoots through underground stems. Just dig up the young plant and separate it away from the main plant. It can then be transplanted to a new location.

  • Dig a small trench near your hydrangea plant.
  • Bend a branch down to the trench so it touches the soil in the middle of the branch
    (six to 12 inches of branch should extend past the trench).
  • Make scratches in the bark where the branch touches the trench soil.
  • Fill in the trench and place a paver, brick or stone on top.
  • With time, the branch will form its own root system and may be transplanted to a new location.
  • Water at a rate of 1 inch per week throughout the growing season. Deeply water 3 times a week to encourage root growth. Bigleaf and smooth hydrangeas require more water, but all varieties benefit from consistent moisture. Use a soaker hose to water deeply and keep moisture off the flowers and leaves. Watering in the morning will help prevent hydrangeas from wilting during hot days.
  • Add mulch underneath your hydrangeas to help keep the soil moist and cool. An organic mulch breaks down over time, adding nutrients and improving soil texture.
  • Apply fertilizer based on your specific hydrangeas. Each variety has different needs and will benefit from different application timing. The best way to determine your fertility needs is by using a soil test.
    • Bigleaf hydrangeas need several light fertilizer applications in March, May and June.
    • Oakleaf and panicle hydrangeas do best with two applications in April and June.
    • Smooth hydrangea plants only need fertilization once, in late winter.
  • Protect against pests and disease by choosing cultivars with resistant traits. Leaf spots, bight, wilt and powdery mildew can all appear on hydrangeas. Pests are not common on hydrangeas, but can appear when plants become stressed. Possible pests include aphids, leaf tiers and red spider mites. Properly caring for hydrangeas is your best defense.

LILACS

Lilacs - another favorite amongst most people. Their fragrance is unmistakable. Their gorgeous and look amazing anywhere around your home.

Lavender French Hybrid Lilac

White French Hybrid Lilac

Deep Purple French Hybrid Lilac

What a Lilac bush looks like at first.

HOW TO GROW LILACS

Plant in either spring or fall, although the latter is preferred.

Select a site where your lilac will get full sun—at least 6 hours. If lilacs don’t get enough sun, they will not bloom well.

When planting your lilac, spread out the roots as you settle the plant into the ground; if it’s balled or burlapped, gently remove the covering and any rope before planting. Set the plant 2 or 3 inches deeper than the container and work topsoil in around the roots. Water in. Then fill in the hole with more topsoil.

Make sure the site drains well. Lilacs don’t like wet feet and will not bloom with too much water.

Space multiple lilac bushes 5 to 15 feet apart, depending on the variety.

PEONIES

Peonies - who doesn't love this flower. Their large heads of various shades of pink and other colors make them irresistible in your yard.

What a Peonies bush looks like at first.

Pink Mix - (2) Root Balls $19.95

Sarah Bernhardt Peony

Lot's of information for the couple of French Country shrubs that are classics for anyone. My philosophy is to PLANT - GROW & PROSPER. Give these beauties the attention they deserve and watch them grow year after year.

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