‘Hydrangea Limelight’ On Liberty Square, Thurles.

Currently growing in the centre of Liberty Square Thurles, replacing what use to contain parking spaces, which in turn generated town centre footfall for once thriving businesses, we now find growing ‘Hydrangeas’. Same are of the medium-sized deciduous shrub variety known as ‘Limelight’.

Hydrangea Limelight‘, (Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary).
Note: Because the street is now so narrow, due to poor planning; heavy traffic (In this case, more recently, a tractor and trailer) is forced unto the flowerbed in order to progress forward. (See also recent picture below).
Pic. G. Willoughby.

The leaves on this shrub are pale green, same attached to grey-green stems and from mid-summer to autumn their flowers display magnificent conical shaped panicles, emerging as a delicate ‘pistachio green colour’, before fading slowly to ‘death brown’ as it naturally drops its leaves.
An easy plant to grow and particularly beautiful; they will bloom year-after-year in the right location with little maintenance required, other than pruning them, once a year, enabling it to generate new flowering wood.

Hydrangea Limelight holds the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award for Garden Merit.

Traffic forced to invade Liberty Square flower beds in Thurles town centre due to simply poor planning.
Pic. G. Willoughby.

It is a very important task, each year, to prune ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas, as they flower only on new wood (In other words the shrub develops its flower buds only on new growth), with annual pruning producing a flush of new stems to carry the future year’s flowers.
‘Limelight’ hydrangeas are commonly pruned between late fall and late winter, when the plant is most dormant, and before the plant sets its buds for the next upcoming summer.
With the shrub having lost its leaves; one can get a better look at its shape and also get easier access, to the branches, to make clean pruning cuts.

Sadly, the ‘Russian Sage‘ plants, sown on the outside, to frame these ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas, are not looking so healthy presently. Also a recipient of a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award for Garden Merit; this deciduous hardy plant, with its upright, bushy grey-green leaves, attached to tall silver-grey flower-stems, should this year produce violet-blue flowers, attractive to pollinators.

‘Russian Sage’ was chosen because of its tolerance to salt, and it is hoped Co. Council trucks spreading salt on the icy winter street surface, would shield the ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas, enabling them to survive.
We wait in eager anticipation.

Again, poor engineering plans and even poorer administration, will decide the future of these shrubs and the town centre itself, with the upper unfinished half section of Liberty Square, now threatened with the loss of an estimated further 19 car parking spaces, if and when it is decided to undertake this now long awaited update.
Sadly, soon we may have a deserted town centre, with little or no footfall, if misguided government officialdom is allowed to make its delusionary progress.


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