Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hydrangea Dreams

During the growing season, I frequent garden centers at least once a week. There is always something new that catches my eye. I buy a particular plant, or two, or three of them to put in my garden. The plant brings me joy and I move on to the the next. But something happened to me last year to change that pattern. I found a plant and kept buying and buying it. More than that, I plan to spend most of the money I allow myself for gardening this year buying more of it.

I have been a rose lover most of my life. Every year I buy a rose or two to add to the garden. It's a special treat for me. But this new addiction goes beyond the rose. I put on rose brakes because I know that the roses are fussy. I love them more than they love me. I don't expect much from them because I don't give them the attention they long to have. Roses are the prima donas of the flower world. I have never been one for prima donas...Work with me or I cut you loose. But I appreciate the intense beauty of a rose. I like to have it around, but will never allow it to control me. I honor it, taking what it will give me and moving on to the next flower. We live in peace, giving each other just enough love to continue the relationship, but never enough to encourage exclusivity. I'm sure I"ll add another rose or two this year...

But I digress...this story is not about the rose. It's about a new love. I've developed a passion that may encourage faithfulness. Three years ago I moved to my new house. A few miles away is a 28 acre preserve of land that includes an old garden featuring hydrangea. The white hydrangea were planted in an L shape. They flower from early to late summer. They make a remarkable play area for my daughter and her friends to play hide and seek. They remind me of "old fashioned" gardens in the English style I so love.

I bought a hydrangea for my own yard the first year I moved here and think I even had one on my old property. But for me hydrangea was like a friend who has a crush on you and waits in the wings until you are ready to reciprocate. I knew of its existence. I enjoyed the relationship. I did not recognize its inner being for what it truly is. Hydrangea is perfect! It is easy to grow and it grows fast. The plants get better and better over time. One can easily find native varieties that take little care. It can grow in sun or shade depending on the variety. It can be pink, or blue, or white and often the color only depends on your whim. Change what you feed it and it changes color if the variety allows. The blooms are huge. (Size does matter.) When the blooms are through for the season, you can dry them and make pretty arrangements in the house.

I now have six hydrangeas. My goal is to rim the whole yard with them. I have a wooded lot and the hydrangea would blend perfectly against the backdrop of myrtle. I estimate it will take perhaps 40 or 50 more shrubs to accomplish my vision....anyone know of a great nursery for purchasing hydrangea?


Nancy J. Bond said...

I wonder if you can propagate new plants from cuttings? I have no experience with hydrangeas, so someone else might know. It would be an inexpensive way to get those 50 shrubs, if it's possible. :) They are truly gorgeous.

Melanie said...

Hi Melissa, I love Hydrangeas too. Yes, you can propagate them very easily from cuttings.

The easiest way to propagate a Hydrangea is to take a lower stem, bend so a part touches the soil and put a rock on it. Come back a few months later and you'll have a new plant growing at that location.


Thanks ladies. One of the things I really wish is to have as many varieties of hydrangeas as possible. I will propogate, but I also need to find a good grower.