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Hydrangeas turned pink

I've purchased hydrangeas two were blue one pink and one white the following year all plants just turned pink. I was told it is the soil, but if you go down to Clonakilty you will see pink hydrangea beside a blue hydrangea next to a beautiful purple hydrangea growing wild how is this the case. an old man told me to take up one of my hydrangeas which we did and bury old iron chains and horseshoes and this would insure the blue colour we are yet to find out . It has just started to leaf. evelyn1979, fermoy , Co Cork Posted: 12/03/2017

Hydrangeas are excellent indicators of soil pH.... blue in acid soil, purple in neutral and pink in limy soil. Soil pH can change within the same garden. 

Old iron can help to introduce iron to the soil but a better way is to dig in leaf-mould, which is acidic, at planting and to mulch each year with leaf-mould to gradually acidify the soil beneath.

More at:  http://www.garden.ie/gardeningskills.aspx?id=542


Improve drainage for newly planted tree

I planted a small Acer earlier this year but had to lift as leaves were curling and falling off. Slow drainage in area planted and clay soil. Small garden and nowhere else to plant. To improve drainage could I dig a large hole (with digger), fill with stones, then topsoil? Area is beside a wall with main road on the other side. Will water drain under road hardcore? Inish, Fanad, Co Donegal Posted: 02/09/2016

The simple solution is to make a broad mound of good topsoil about 20cm high at the centre, on top of the existign soil and plant on that. It should be watered occasionally in any long dry spell until good new growth appears and mulch with rotted leaves.



We have heavy clay soil so we dug a trench about 3ft deep around the edge of the garden and replaced with topsoil. Now our soil is constantly waterlogged and it's impossible to dig. So far we have one photinia in the soil but I can see that could fall over easily as it can't grip the soil. Please help! Thankyou mickhetty, Harlow, Posted: 28/01/2012


The problem is poor drainage and it sounds like it is draining into the place you dug out. 

Heavy soil can get very soggy if drainage is not good. Drain to a ditch or other outlet, make a herring bone pattern of land drains, back-filled with stone or gravel, to within about 30cm of the surface.

If you have no outlet, drain to a soak-pit to take the water away.

More at: http://www.garden.ie/gardeningskills.aspx?id=553



trees/shrubs suitable for wet site

we have a wet site, even after draining. any ideas as to what to plant? carolineom, Dromkeen, Co Limerick Posted: 20/09/2011


There are some trees and shrubs that succeed.... alder, willow, dogwood, but the choice is limited. There are more perennials but wet gorund makes use  of the garden difficult.

More choices at: http://www.garden.ie/plantdirectory.aspx





copper beech leaves turning yellow

My copper beech leaves have been turning yellow for quite a few months now and it just generally looks dull and hasn't grown at all this year.. could it be that its roots are too constrained in the bed its in? 170820092, Dublin , Co Dublin Posted: 20/09/2011


Beech suffers drought if the ground is dry because it is surface -rooting. This is a site problem. no watering can solve this.


Problem with hedge without leaves

We have a copper beech hedge which did not grow any leaves this year. It is just over a year old and was quite mature when planted (4 ft high). The buds appeared this Spring but the leaves never grew, and many of the buds appear to have died off. In most cases the plants have sap (as evidenced by scratching the stem and revealing green) which indicates to me that they are living?? Please advise as there are many opinions but I really don't know what is correct. The soil is well drained and these plants were in full leaf last summer? Garry, Fermoy, Co Cork Posted: 04/07/2011


The normal problem, and still the most likely, is winter waterlogging. This occurs when the water table in the soil rises in winter, an dbeech is very susceptible to this problem.

The only other possibility is inadvertent weedkiller spray damage, and even then there should be some effort to grow back.


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