My Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea has brown spots and hardly any burgundy color


Vanilla Strawberry bush in zone 7 NC at

Ok so…my Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea has brown spots and hardly any burgundy color. What is the deal right? I first brought mine home in 201o I think…thereabouts..and just could not wait for it to produce strawberry like blooms.

Vanilla Strawberry bush with crepe myrtles

Vanilla Strawberry bush at the craftsman style home of Anna at

The wait became excruciating as the Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea took forever to grow. I got it in a small container and planted in perfect soil. The sun was strong dappled light. Sometimes direct sun. I fertilized it with Holly Tone in the spring and never cut it back. in zome 7 NC

Vanilla Strawberry bush with Red Knockout bush in zome 7 NC

It grew at a snails pace and then my neighbor cut down his tree so the plant would receive full sun. It grew a bit faster but still really slow compared to say my Limelight hydrangea which grew at break neck speed.

Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea bloom in a soft pink at

Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea bloom in a soft pink at

I never got that burgundy beauty color that Vanilla Strawberry hydrangeas are so famous for….the one pictured on the tag.

Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea bloom in soft pink but not the burgundy as advertised at

Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea bloom in soft pink but not the burgundy as advertised at

Well I learned that here in the South or anywhere you have hot summers, you probably will have a faint pink color as the bloom matures. It’s just how it is. You will also get brown spots as the leaf petal dies.

Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea bloom showing brown spots at

Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea bloom showing brown spots at


Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea bloom brown spots


Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea bloom

I’m sorry for you and me that we can’t have the beauty is was advertised to have but I still really like the hydrangea. The deer do too. i have to keep Liquid Fence or Deer Off sprayed on it.

look up more hydrangea blooms at by using the search feature in the sidebar

look up more hydrangea blooms at by using the search feature in the sidebar

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Vanilla Strawberry hydrangeas.

Vanilla Strawberry

Vanilla Strawberry


Poppy’s By Design in Blowing Rock NC is Christmas decked out in wonder

 Poppy’s By Design in Blowing Rock, NC is Christmas decked out in wonder for old and young alike. I take all my guest to see them.

 Every square inch is packed full of magical moments and ideas to be packed up and recreated in your home. 100_3088

Lots of red and white seem to be the theme this season but not without adding that blue grassy softness that breaks up the tones and adds just the right amount of softness.



Hey….look…..a giant snowman or several hiding in every corner. 100_3091

and did you see the visions of sugar plums…….100_3092

You must see their oil candles made here in the USA. or…..enhance a painting that you might already have…..or better yet…take this one home….100_3104

there is still pletny of autumn deals throughtout the store and many of us like to leave out our fall decorating in the lower south till about mid December…so Poppy’s has something for everyone.


They really do look beautiful in every season with exceptional floral arrangements made custom or bought right off the rack. visit Poppy’s By Design in Blowing Rock, NC or visit their Facebook page100_3093

Christel Colla's autumn pumpkin arrangement

Pumpkin Lemongrass Chrysanthemum Autumn Containers with Christel Colla

Pumpkin Lemongrass chrysanthemum autumn containers with Christel Colla! 

I’ve introduced you to Christel’s kitchen garden  and her husband’s collection of tin signs so let’s see what Christel is doing today. Looks like she’s made us some pumpkin Lemongrass chrysanthemum autumn containers.

She’s the most inspiring person always coming up with new garden designs or making some kind of outstanding container arrangement. Her talents go beyond the garden to music and card crafting. I’ve never seen a person be so obedient to God to develop all that God has given them and she’s so generous to share. Thank you Christel.

Her husband Johnny….cut out the tops and Christel scooped out the insides which makes them last longer. Christel lives in California and that day it was rather warm but the cooler days to come will extend the life…..the good part is the pumpkins can be easily peeled away at planting time and all goes right in the garden or divided for places in other containers. If you live in a frost free zone…the mums will continue to be green for quite some time.

She said the pumpkin scraping was labor intensive. She was so tired but this part can’t be skipped or you’ll have a rotten mess too quickly before the season is done. Good job my dear friend. You always go the extra mile and do it right.

Please leave a comment telling Christel how much you enjoyed her giving us step by step instructions. I enjoyed it so much that I just had to share.

Christel first used Lemongrass and planted that in the pumpkins.

Next up the autumn flower selections

Sitting on Christel’s porch is a gorgeous pot of ornamental peppers…fittingly..a nice companion autumn container arrangement with the pumpkins.

And isn’t it to die for…..

Christel’s husband..Johnny..cut the pumpkins for her. This is a hard task and he is using a hand held power saw. Pretty smart I’d say. Saved Christel an hour or more she said. She was grateful. Johnny helps her do a lot of things…both are lucky to have each other. Both are immensely talented in a lot of areas.

Thank you so much for letting me use your photos Christel. I love you for it.

Thought you might also like to see Christel’s kitchen garden from a few years past. I featured her in a magazine that is no longer around but these photos sure tell the story. Christel changes this with each year and season and her fruits have grown in so nicely. She does keep up her bird feeders every day. Hats off sweet friend. Always a pleasure.

Laura Eubanks pumpkin succulent container

Autumn Succulent Pumpkin Container Arrangements For Order


Autumn Succulent Pumpkin Container Arrangements for Order

Decorate in style this holiday season with a one of a kind succulent topped pumpkin from Laura Eubanks of Design for Serenity!  Each pumpkin is uncut and designed to be beautiful for months to come.  Want to create your own centerpiece?  Order our Succulent Starter Kit.  Each kit includes no less than 40 various succulent cuttings, enough to cover a large pumpkin, moss, glue, decorative seed pods and detailed assembly instructions.  You provide the pumpkin or other container of your choice.

Visit and order today!
Sooo excited!!!!
Laura Eubanks