Welcome to Sassy Plants - a blog about urban gardening, edible landscaping, and other plant rants.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Oakleaf Hydrangea

I will admit that I am biased - I love hydrangeas.  But, I can tell you with complete objectivity that if you have a garden, and it does not contain an Oakleaf Hydrangea, you need to change your ways.  Oakleaf Hydrangeas are awesome!                     Long, white flower panicles cover the shrub from late spring into summer, followed by beautiful fall color.  (The photo on the right is a hydrangea in my yard starting to change color in mid-October.) The cinnamon colored bark has a peeling, papery texture which adds great winter interest.            
Here's the skinny on Oakleaf Hydrangea:

Botanical name:  Hydrangea quercifolia
Origin:  Southeastern United States
Plant type:  Deciduous Shrub
Hardiness:  USDA Zones 5-9, Sunset 2b-23 
Size:  Typically 6' to 8' high and wide. Dwarf varieties such as 'PeeWee' are a mere 2' to 3' high and wide.
Light Requirements: Shade or Sun
Maintenance:  Low.  Prune after blooming.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall Harvest

It was a good year for vegetable gardening at our place!  Here is a photo from this week's harvest including Yellow Peppers, Armenian Cucumbers, Mouse Melons (the one that looks like a tiny watermelon), Roma Tomatoes, Heinz Sauce Tomatoes, Tomatillo, Japanese Eggplant, Ronde de Valence Eggplant, and Red Chili Peppers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I love my succulent garden.

When we bought our house, almost ten years ago, the yard was virtually a blank slate.
The previous owner had fixed up the once overgrown yard by clearing all of the vegetation (with the exception of trees), and then covering virtually every square inch of the lot with bark.  He thought that you could not have too much bark in your yard.
He then added, to my horror, a small rose garden in the backyard.
To level the slight slope of the front yard the owner took broken up concrete slabs (left over from the porch remodel), and built a two-tiered retaining wall along the entire length of the front sidewalk.  He planted his masterpiece with boxwood and primrose.
It was what can only be described as Formal Ghetto Style. 

We left this eyesore for longer than I care to admit.  But, eventually, I removed the boxwood and planted a few varieties of succulents.  I added a few varieties of heather, some variegated thyme.  Now it is COVERED with vegetation.  For about 30 bucks worth of plants, and a bit of patience, my hideous front border has been transformed.  I don't ever water it, and when the occasional weed sneaks in, I just flick it out with my favorite garden tool.

(I haven't used the particular brand of tool in the photo, but this is the style of weeder that you need.  It gives you leverage.                                         And you need leverage.)

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Welcome to Sassy Plants - a blog about urban farming, landscape design, and other horticultural opining.