Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Service-Learning at Moses Cone Estate
North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteers recently lended their pruning skills for an afternoon of restorative pruning at the Moses Cone Estate. In 2010, a partnership developed between the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the National Park Service and Watauga County Cooperative Extension to restore the century-old Hydrangea paniculata shrubs located around Bass Lake outside of Blowing Rock. This service-learning project is a valuable tool that not only restores the historical Hydrangea plantings but also teaches hands-on pruning skills to volunteers.
Hydrangea paniculata blooms on new wood, so the pruning time frame is during the dormant season. Other types of hydrangeas bloom on old-wood, and should be pruned right after blooming.
Pruning cuts were targeted toward dead, diseased or broken branches as well as branches that crossed-over or were rubbing against one another.
General thinning cuts allowed more sunlight to penetrate the interior leaf canopy, which helps the plant photosynthesize more efficiently and helps the visibility of the blooms once flowering occurs.
The hydrangeas at Moses Cone will bloom in mid-summer with white-colored panicle infloresences that fade to a rosy pink as the summer progresses. This type of hydrangea is a wonderful ornamental addition to any High Country landscape. Be sure and visit Bass Lake in July to enjoy their full blooming glory!