, Salem, MA


November 23, 2012

North Shore Gardener: Climbing hydrangea was damaged

Q: I have a climbing hydrangea that was on our chimney and almost two stories tall. It was blown off the chimney during the storm but did not snap the trunk, which is about 3 to 4 inches in diameter at the base. If I could get it lifted back on, do you think I should reattach it to the chimney? If so, how? Otherwise, should I cut it back to a certain height?

A: If the main trunk hasn’t snapped you can certainly save this fine old hydrangea. This fall carefully protect the plant with a thick layer of straw. Additionally, a layer of landscaping burlap will help to allow moisture through and keep the straw and the plant immobile. Also, take the time this winter to construct a very sturdy trellis so it doesn’t happen again to this heirloom plant.

Next spring, as soon as the weather and temperatures are above freezing, carefully unpack the vine from the straw and secure it to the new trellis. Hopefully it will be fine for decades to come.

Q: I always buy many bags of composted soil to fill holes after planting bulbs in my garden in the fall, as well as to mound up around roses and other perennials for the winter. I also use some of the soil to start seeds in late winter and for geranium cuttings. But every brand seems to give me different results. How can I make the composted soil better?

A: Composted soil in bags is mass produced and the maker has a formula and sources for his brand. Try adding compost from your own compost pile of garden and grass clippings, particularly if it contains food items or special manures like from pigeons or poultry, or fish products or coffee grounds. Make your compost healthy with a variety of material — it’s healthier.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Dear Abby: Younger couples weigh in on how they handle money Dear Readers: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife c

    July 22, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm eit

    July 21, 2014

  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 21

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20

    Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief The Rev. Wesley Williams will be the featured guest for the 9:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday, July 27, at Holy Trinity United Methodist Church, 16 Sylvan St., Danvers. Williams will use the sermon time to lead in the singing of spirituals and give

    July 19, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Saturday, July 19 Church Yard Sale, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Our Lady of Fatima Church, 50 Walsh Ave., Peabody. Church-sponsored yard sale features home furnishings, clothing, children's items, furniture and more. Portuguese food will also be available. All

    July 19, 2014

  • North Shore Gardener: Can 10-year-old plant food be used? Q: As I am getting older, my gardening is less and less, but I do have three potted cherry tomato plants on my deck. I wonder if some Vigoro Water Soluble Tomato and Vegetable Plant Food that I have had in my garage for about 10 years would be safe a

    July 18, 2014

  • Dr. Kate's Parent Rap: 6 strategies to help your child build self-advocacy skills As tweens enter middle school, they are expected to manage increased responsibility and independence. Included in this set of expectations is their ability to self-advocate for their needs. Self-advocacy refers to an individual's ability to effective

    July 18, 2014

  • doughboys_2 Book Notes: Author discusses World War I at Wenham Museum All the veterans Richard Rubin interviewed for "The Last of the Doughboys," which was published in 2013, are dead now. Given that his subjects ranged in age from 101 to 113, and he started looking for them in 2003, that is hardly surprising. What re

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • womaninyard Quick pick 'East End Open Studio' An art show featuring the work of 15 artists who all live and work in the East End District of Ipswich is on view this weekend at the Ipswich Moving Company Studio at 2 Cogswell St. in Ipswich. The show is called "East End Open

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker