Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hardhearted Hydrangea

Hydrangea, Queen Anne's Lace, gardening, blooms, flowers
I have a love/hate relationship with my hardhearted hydrangea.
 It is a relationship lasting twenty years since a hydrangea expert friend propagated one of hers.  

She selected what she thought was the best place in our yard.

She planted her, and I did EXACTLY what my friend told me to do to her.

Hardhearted Hydrangea's sisters went to live in a yard down the street.

The first year she was a green stick with five leaves on her - no blooms.

My friend suggested we move her to a new place.

Hardhearted Hydrangea's sisters were at least three feet high with a few blooms their first year.

This went on for SIX years - moving that plant from place to place, feeding her exotic foods, and tending the area around her with extra care.

I wanted a blooming hydrangea!

Finally she became a stingy bloomer - putting forth maybe ten blooms on about ten stalks.

Hardhearted Hydrangea's sisters were now giants loaded to the ground with beautiful blooms.

My friend could not even guess why.

She offered a new plant, but I refused to give in to the cycle of shame I experienced with the only puny hydrangea on the block.

So this year gardening is not the usual because we had ice storm damaged plants to severely prune.

The hidden corner we never visit was left to its own devices.

I said I would get to it when I had a chance.

Imagine my surprise the other day when I rounded the corner of the house to find a real hydrangea - grown higher than the fence - filling out nicely - blooms and buds on many stalks.

Here Hardhearted Hydrangea sits in regal glory - covered in clematis, Virginia Creeper, and trumpet vine.  The spirea has laced its branches with hers.   English ivy has escaped its confines and invades her precious space.


If this is what she wanted, I could have given up on her a decade ago.

Oh, well, at least I have a blooming hydrangea.

Now to the darling of my yard - Queen Anne's Lace.

I know some of you mow this down, but here it is not a native.

I had to drive about twenty miles north to harvest seeds from the roadside.

They are dependable, bloom as long as you deadhead them, and look quite lovely.

Just a little garden rant for this morning.

How does your garden grow?

See y'all!

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  1. I love Hydrangeas! I've planted seven of them so far in the three years we've been here. I had a very large one at my old home that my husband cursed every time he cut the grass. He knows nothing about plants or what I've planted. Don't think we'll be around to see my hydrangeas get out of hand where we are now. At least someone else cuts the grass here.

  2. Hi Donna, I love Queen Anne's lace, and your hydrangea just wanted company, I guess. :) I have had good luck with hydrangeas and actually removed one of seven last year because I couldn't even get through them or around them in the garden. A hard prune for the rest, then the bad winter. They're growing, but I'm not sure I'll have blooms this year (wasn't really expecting to since I pruned so hard). I'm just glad they didn't die altogether!

  3. She's happy in her corner with all her wild friends.
    I will never have's just too hot.
    I have a bad case of hydrangea envy when I see giant bushes loaded with blooms,
    but your sweet persevering lady is grand.
    Loved this post.

  4. I read somewhere that you sometimes have to shake the plant and wake up the roots. Guess the cold weather shook it up good. Enjoy your lively garden! Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  5. I have three hydrangeas that I have had for over 20 years and only one of them has any size to it. They are all three in a row but I think the one gets more sun that the other two. Mine has those pretty blue blooms favorite. My sister has one at the corner of her house that is HUGE and has bright purple blooms. It's so pretty...:) Glad yours finally decided to grow...she was just a late bloomer...:) Have a blessed Sunday afternoon!

    Blessings, Vicky

  6. I fell in love with Hydrangeas when I lived in Vancouver, a very mild and wet climate. I never thought I could grow it here in Saskatchewan which is extremely cold and dry, but I'm giving it a go. I don't think I can get the blue blooms I love but I might get some pink eventually. Hopefully it doesn't take as long as yours did though~

  7. Oh your hydrangea is just beautiful! We can't grow them here, and it's one plant that I really love. Your patience really paid off. We had a clematis that we almost gave up on, and then one year it became the beauty it was always supposed to be, and it's been doing great every year ever since. Gardening can be such a mystery sometimes.

  8. We've had a hydrangea for a couple of years. We have it potted, because we will take it with us when we move (and we're not sure if or when that might be!). She has been sitting in that pot contented to do nothing but leaf for a long time. This year, it looks like we will get A bloom. Heck, at this point, we don't even know what color it is, but we are hoping for would be nice, too. Whatever...just bloom, darnit!

  9. You always make me chuckle, Donna :) You've a wonderful writing gift! We replaced an ugly, gangly evergreen bush that had been allowed to grow two stories with a snowball hydrangea that I'm in love with. I just picked up a pink/blue one this spring at Aldis for inside. I'm going to plant it outside soon and hope it does well--you never know, do you?!!

  10. I've been working on my 2 hydrangea plants for 5 years now. One is a miniature - so to give me 4 or 5 blooms is great. The other is a normal, large one (don't know exact type - as took part of one of mom's many beautiful LARGE, full of blooms plants). It gave me only a few blooms last year. I'll see how she does this year. We had the worst, snowiest winter in Indiana history... so I'll be lucky if I get anything, I guess.

  11. Your bloom is gorgeous. All I know is they need some shade and lots of water. I am fearful of mine in all that sun.

  12. All my bush type plants are giving me trouble. I have a blue hydrangea that will not bloom blue no matter what I do! No buds on my lilac tree this year and the time for blooming is now past. Maybe 5 of my 35 tulips even came up this year. Who knows what is going on in the garden cycle!! I just leave them alone and wait till next year!!

  13. I planted a hydrangea a couple years ago and so far haven't had a single bloom! It probably doesn't like the poor soil it is in. Maybe this year? Thank you for sharing this and your pretty ironstone tureens and you shop finds at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great weekend!
    Blessings, Deborah

  14. Hydrangeas don't do real well here, but I am not giving up! I have three planted and we shall see. One I've had three years and she's hanging in there. One is two years old. Hoping for more than two blooms this year. One is new and pretty tiny. Love yours and the Queen's Anne Lace. It is labeled a weed here, but I think they are lovely! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  15. Donna, maybe you were too loving and attentive to your hydrangea and she just needed room to do her own thing. I hope you enjoy all of her blooms this season!

  16. Oh, hydrangeas! I too have a love/hate relationship with them. I planted two last year that both died, so I'm trying again this year. I resent how needy and particular they are, but I'm desperate to have some of those big, beautiful blooms in my yard. So, I guess I'll put up with their neediness!


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