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Best Return on Investment in the Garden


This seasons best bloomers was between the double knockout roses and the hydrangeas. But the longest lasting blooms award definitely goes to my hydrangea friends. I’m swooning over their gorgeous blooms that lasted five months from March until August.

After five months, the blooms started to look too tattered to keep. I gave them a major pruning once I saw new buds and blossoms and once the old blooms were off, all of that energy diverted to the new blooms and they matured faster for another round of gorgeous blossoms.

grow hydrangeas for beginner garden

Economical Landscaping

When we moved into this rental house six months ago, the only way to beautify was on a very small budget. I refused to plant much in the ground beyond $1 wildflower seed packets because even those added up!! So I put my money toward something to take with me when we move and something to makeover the courtyard sitting area where we would spend most of our time.

I flanked the spigot with these extra large pots that only cost $10 each. I planted them with different colored hydrangeas on either side that cost $16. I used the cheapest bags of potting soil the garden center sold at $5 and needed 3 or 4 bags. This investment was one of the best decisions I could have made on such a tight budget because of the beauty and long lasting blooms.

grow hydrangeas in pots

This side of the house looked ratty and empty where the clay mud splatters up on the siding. I happened to find a few stones half buried in the mud by the mini barn so I hauled them up to the courtyard to be sweet little steps to the spigot. I also took some rocks from the driveway to hardscape where the ground meets the house and looks otherwise very stark. The rocks and the stone steps were charming free additions that just needed to be placed well.

But it was the hydrangeas that were an incredibly impactful decision for this area because once they bloomed they stayed gorgeous for months on end.

grow hydrangeas in pots for patio garden

The blue hydrangea’s fresh blooms are bright sky blue that settles to a softer lavender blue with beige petals sprinkled throughout as it ages. Then it stayed like this for five months!

pink and green hydrangea blossoms

The pink hydrangea blooms start out green then go to this green center with light pink outer rims. Then, it transforms to a bright medium pink color all over. Watching the petal’s color be slightly different day after day is a precious thing since you know it will keep changing but every change is just as beautiful.

pink hydrangea blossom

Then they stay pink for a while before slowly turning green with just a tinge of pink at the petal tips. It is these large green pom poms that stayed gorgeous for months. They were stunning in this shade of green with subtle hints of pink. They looked antique in the way the color faded to the green yet still vibrant with healthy petals in this stage for most of the five months they were in bloom.

green hydrangea blossoms

A little lizard peeped out of this hydrangea bloom at me one morning. Gasp “Good morning!” These fun surprises never get old. This was when the blooms were looking decidedly aged with noticeable brown decay to the petals. It took five months for them to look like this and they still have a beauty at this stage.

lizard in green hydrangea flower

This was after I pruned the most decayed green blooms off after making sure the baby lizard was not inside of them. For a couple weeks my hydrangea had the old green blooms and new pink blooms.

new and old hydrangea flower blooms

Then I did a massive pruning to also take care of a fungal problem on the leaves that is contagious to healthy foliage. I clipped off every aged green bloom and every diseased leaf, leaving only the new healthy leaves and new blooms. Now it is coming back in all its glory for round two of long lasting blossoms!

I always loved hydrangeas but I was never acquainted with how varied in color their blooms can be on the same plant at different stages and I never knew that their blooms lasted months on end! At least they do here in my garden zone 8a. I did know that they are poisonous to goats if they eat them! But I never wanted goats so that works out. It looks like I am officially a hydrangea gardener and now I feel ravenous to expand my hydrangea collection. I have never known another plant to be so long blooming.

No matter what flowers came and went throughout spring and summer, the hydrangeas were there in full bloom.

plant hydrangea in pots

When all of my wildflowers sank down into the soil and slowly faded until they were gone and the garden languished in the summer heat without the promise of many new flowers, the hydrangeas were there in full bloom. Every day they were beautiful and made the courtyard look so lovely. After pruning the five month long blooms off, there is a whole new batch of new blooms with the promise of sticking around for as many more months as the weather allows! The longevity of these flowers is truly stunning.

Hydrangeas are a rewarding investment in a garden and they are a friendly price for the longevity that they give. This is a perennial that gives so much to the gardener and the garden.

Until next time,

Thank you Lord Jesus for the garden



"Whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise
think about these things."
Philippians 4:8

Blogging about country living, homemaking, fashion and decor tips with a penchant for all things princessy, Barbie

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