Plant of the Week: LITTLE LIME PUNCH® Panicle hydrangea

It’s party time for paniculatas!

Other hydrangeas can showboat around in June and July, but August is when many of our Hydrangea paniculatas really shine here in West Michigan.

Chief among them is Little Lime Punch®, a very flashy version of Little Lime® with flowers that appear in a party mix of white, green, pink, and that-stain-won’t-come-out Hawaiian Punch red.

One tough plant

Like other H. paniculata, Little Lime Punch® will grow in USDA 3-8 and take full sun in colder climates. Some light shade is nice as you move further south. Either way, the flowers appear on new wood, and their color is not affected by soil pH.

Fall is coming…

Football fans and folks who don’t like hot weather can’t wait for fall to get here. Gardeners are anxious, too. Many of us love fall foliage as much or more than spring flowers. We expect fall color from H. quercifolia, but this H. paniculata may reward you with some colorful foliage, too!

So between the color blooms and fall foliage, it’s a regular festival of color in the garden.

The Coast Guard Festival

Speaking of festivals. It seems every small town has some kind of summer festival designed to bring folks together to celebrate the subject du jour. In Grand Haven (where Spring Meadow is located), it’s the Coast Guard Festival. The downtown blocks off the street for a carnival, the local park hosts a weekend art fair, Saturday morning features a parade that, seriously, lasts about four hours…then there are the Saturday evening fireworks. That’s all happening this weekend.

Grand Haven is a coastal town (hence the Coast Guard Festival), and the fireworks are launched from a little island opposite the marina and waterway-adjacent pedestrian boardwalk. People start putting out blankets on the hill just the other side of the boardwalk to save their spots almost 48 hours ahead of time. It used to be longer, but the city said it was killing the grass, so any blankets left unattended 24 hours before the event would be removed and discarded. So folks now wait and put their blankets down about a day sooner and sort of camp on them. To me, that’s a bit over the top, but hey, people celebrate in their own ways, right?

Want to know what else is over the top? How about these festivals across the US:

Road Kill Cook-Off Festival

Every September, Marlinton, West Virginia, celebrates road kill cookery. They don’t have to scrape them off the road to qualify; they just need to have animals that are frequently run over, like possum, deer, squirrel, and rabbit.

National Hollerin’ Contest

Every September, for one day, Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina, revives the art of hollerin’. While many people complain when someone hollers at them, in Spivey Corners, they love it.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Outhouse Races

The Trenary Outhouse Classic may not be the only outhouse race in the U.S., but it’s a yearly Michigan tradition. The Yoopers give awards for most humorous outhouse, best workmanship, best presentation, and even farthest traveled.

Tarantula Awareness Festival

If you’re interested in these creatures, you should check out the annual October festival in Coarsegold, California. There are tarantula races, costume contests, and plenty of chances to learn about this creepy, hairy spider.

Hope you find a reason to celebrate this weekend, too.

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