Friday, June 10, 2011

Margaret Moseley would make Michael Dirr proud

I lose track of time, so I looked up the date that Margaret Moseley and I visited Mike Dirr (the woody plant guru who is responsible for 'Endless Summer' and many other shrubs) near Athens, Ga.  It was April 21, 2008.  We looked at his viburnums and toured the hydrangea trial areas.  At the time, he was working on trying to produce a re-blooming, dark blue mophead.  I can't wait for that one to be introduced.  I love those dark blues and deep, deep purples.

At any rate, he gave Margaret and me a new re-blooming lacecap called 'Twist-n-Shout'.  The name has special meaning for me because of the Isley Brothers' hit, Twist and Shout; also, that's the song the Beatles led off with when I saw them at the old Fulton County Stadium on August 18, 1965.

But I digress.  Back to the hydrangea.  This is a re-blooming cross between the lacecap 'Lady in Red' and the mophead 'Penny Mac'.  

I took the above picture in Margaret's garden on Thursday, June 3, 2011, at two o'clock in the afternoon when it was sunny and 95 degrees - not a good time for a photograph.  The plant was covered in blooms, with pink and blue in both the sterile and fertile flowers.  Each bloom was different.  

Here's a lesson from Margaret.  When she receives or buys a plant, it goes immediately in the ground.  She makes a decision, and if she needs to move it, it's done later.  I let my 'Twist-n-Shout' languish in a pot for a year, then finally planted it in the dry shade of a water oak.  It now has one bloom on it, but as soon as this heat breaks, I'm moving it to a new location I've prepared that wasn't there when I got the plant.  I know it will do well, because Mike Dirr's re-blooming 'Blushing Bride' white mophead is flourishing in the new, richer space.  I bought the latter plant and let it sit in a pot for three years, finally planting it about a month ago, and it is spreading and beautiful with a ton of blooms. 

Procrastination wise, I am doing better now, with only one plant still in its initial container.  It's a hydrangea, and I don't even know which one.  When I re-plant 'Twist-n-Shout', the mystery hydrangea is going to receive a permanent place, too.  I can't wait to see what it is.

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