Hydrangeas are flowering shrubs that come in a variety of colors including clear blue, vibrant pink, frosty white, lavender, and rose. They have a characteristic multiple flower head pattern, with each flower made up of many smaller flower heads. They are a very prominent variety of flowering shrubs that are easy to cultivate on almost any kind of soil. They produce flowers through the entire mid-summer and till fall. During this time most of the other flowering plants and shrubs do not flower, making hydrangeas very special. Hydrangeas can make an excellent garden as they can be planted as individual plants or as groups.
What makes them unique?
An interesting fact about hydrangeas is that the colors of some of the hydrangeas can change based on the soil pH. Soil pH indirectly affects the availability of aluminum ions. Blue flowers are produced with acidic soils (with pH less than 5.5) and pink blooms are produced with a soil pH greater than 5.5. It is seen that white flowers are not affected by pH.
Hydrangeas need to be planted about 3 to 10 feet apart, in rich and moist soils. Compost needs to be added to soils that are not moist enough. Planting needs to be done during spring or during fall. Planting the shrubs needs to be done in a hole and then filled with soil to half the depth. Once water is added and drained, more soil must be added to fill the rest of the hole.
Caring for hydrangeas
The leaves of hydrangeas will wilt if the soil is too dry. To avoid that, after planting or during dry weather, the hydrangeas should be watered properly. Though fertilizers are encouraged, it should be noted that too much fertilizer will cause leafy growth and lesser flowers. So, as a common practice, it is not required to fertilize hydrangeas if the soil is rich. If the soil is not very rich or is sandy, it is good to fertilize the plants once a year during late winter or spring. During the fall, cover the plants to a depth of 18 inches or more using pine needles, leaves or straw. However, it’s advisable to cover the entire plant by making snow fencing or chicken wire cages and filling the cages with leaves.
Pruning a hydrangea
Pruning is done by cutting one or two of the oldest stems down to the base so that branching can happen. But if the plant is old or neglected or damaged, it is advisable to prune all the stems down till the base. This also includes the flowers that will renovate the plant for future seasons. The process of removing faded and dead blooms is called deadheading. The process or the time to prune a hydrangea depends on the type of hydrangea. The technique varies from one variety to another. For example, Mophead and Lacecap, are two common varieties that are pruned after the flowers fade. Other hydrangeas like panicle and smooth hydrangeas are pruned in a different way. They should be pruned late winter when the plant is dormant before flowering. So, if the buds are killed during late winter, they will produce new buds in spring which will produce flowers. It’s a best practice to prune only dead branches.
Tips for selecting the right pool contractorRead more
You must have heard about how a pool construction can go wrong. One of the reasons behind it is an unsatisfactory pool contractor. You can’t even imagine how some pool contractors can ruin your pool. You must hire the right pool contractor for the pool construction, and you will be able to do it with a little help and a little knowledge. Here are some guidelines that can help you hire the right pool contractor.
Reference and recommendations
Have you noticed any new pool being constructed in your neighborhood or at someone’s home? And did you like it? If you have liked their new pool, get the contact details of the company. This will ensure that you have got the recommendation from a trustworthy source. Ask your friend about the quality of the service that the company has provided and only if you are satisfied with the response should you contact them.
A reference letter is also important as it boosts the credibility of the pool contractor that you are hiring. Ask for referral letters before hiring and read them to make sure that the company you are considering will be right for you.
A background check is essential
A quick background check will clear any doubt that you may have had in your mind. Visit the Better Business Bureau to check whether there are any complaints lodged against the contractor. By paying a small fee, you can also get a report from Contractor Check that will include an overall rating and details about the contractor’s business operations.
If the pool contractor has not been able to make a good first impression, then that is reason enough for being cautious. You must look out for things like, unrealistically low estimates, pressurizing you to make quick decisions, no clarity about the constructions, asking for cash, evasive about their operations and anything that sets off a warning in your mind.
Always visit the store or the office of the pool contractor before making any final decision. Consider the price, the service, and then after a thorough scrutiny, fix on the company that will be right for you.
Diagnosing and Treating Swollen Glands in NeckRead more
Swollen glands in the neck are a result of exposure to viruses of bacteria. When swollen glands in the neck are caused by an infection, the condition is termed lymphadenitis. Cancer may cause swollen glands in the neck as well, but its possibility is rare. The lymph glands are extremely important to the functioning of the body. They help your body fight off infections and act as a filter, trapping bacteria, viruses and other causes of illness before they can spread to other parts of the body and further infect it. Apart from the neck, swollen lymph nodes can be found under your chin, in your groin, and in your armpits. Here is how you can diagnose and treat swollen glands in the neck.
To successfully diagnose swollen glands in the neck, your doctor will ask you when the swollen glands first developed. Your doctor will also ask you if you are suffering from any other symptoms. Your doctor will then conduct a few procedures and tests to diagnose the condition. This includes:
- Physical examination – To check the tenderness, size, texture, and warmth of the swollen glands near the surface of your skin
- Blood tests – To determine the cause of the underlying condition
- Imaging studies – To scan the affected area and determine the source of the infection
- Lymph node biopsy – To remove a portion of a lymph node for further testing and examination
The treatment for swollen glands in the neck is solely dependent on the cause of the disease. Bacterial causes and infections have a different treatment procedure than that of a cancerous or viral source. Here is how the condition can be treated:
- If the cause of the condition is an infection, a course of antibiotics should do the trick
- If the source of the condition is an immune disorder, the treatment is directed at the underlying condition
- If swollen glands in the neck are a result of cancer, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are the best available options
The treatment for swollen glands in the neck depends solely on its cause. At times you may need treatment while in some cases, time heals the swollen glands in the neck on its own. Warm compresses can do a world of good as well. Whatever the case, if you are suffering from swollen glands in the neck, consult a doctor immediately as your body’s ability to fight off infections is under threat.