Hydrangeas in a copper jug.
I USED TO THINK HYDRANGEAS WERE A BIT DAGGY, BUT NOW I THINK THEY ARE BRAVE AND ADORABLE

Who would imagine that dear old hydrangeas would hold up so well during the 2019/20 fires and heatwave conditions in the NSW Blue Mountains? The origin of the name seems to contradict the very notion that they would!

First discovered in Japan, the name hydrangea comes from the Greek ‘hydor’, meaning water, and ‘angos’, meaning jar or vessel. This roughly translates to ‘water barrel’, referring to hydrangeas’ need for plenty of water and their cup-shaped flowers.

I really love the photo below, even though it is heartbreaking. The fire where I live at Blackheath roared up the Grose Valley to Perry’s Lookout and Anvil Rock, then into the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens. There was serious damage, but look at this brave survivor.

My hydrangeas grow in semi-shade and have a thick, natural mulch of fallen leaves (mainly from Japanese maples). They are blue rather than pink, due to my acidic soil.

Hydrangeas and salvias.
Hydrangeas and ‘hotlips’ salvia

Bees and butterflies are attracted to the blooms.

Butterfly on hydrangeas.
SO DELICATELY SIPPING NECTAR

Oh yes, and birds such as little scrubwrens search them for bugs.

There is something comforting about seeing flowers your mother and grandmother grew…..and goodness knows we needed a bit of comfort in 2019, and still do as we enter 2022! 😨

Look at the shock on that quaint little face on a hydrangea flower! I wonder whether it was a smiley face 😉 before the world went awry?

The cut little 'face' that appears in the flowers of hydrangeas.

No wonder it wanted a bit of advice about the future.

Cartoon about  hydrangeas.
HYDRANGEAS ARE AS BEMUSED AS WE ARE

As I write the Blue Mountains are experiencing a prolonged period of wet weather. Great for hydrangeas of course. In my photo below they are planted behind English lavender.

Hydrangeas in the rain.
RAIN, BLESSED RAIN

A nice spot for a cool drink and a snack in high summer;

And on the subject of food….hydrangea cupcakes!

Cupcake hydrangeas.
THE CUTEST CUPCAKES!

I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t really look after my hydrangeas as well as I should, but I certainly do appreciate them.

For everything you need to know about growing them, CLICK HERE.

2 Comments
  1. My earliest memory of hydrangeas is of the one growing in my Grandma’s tiny garden in York – Mum loved them, but we rarely saw them where we lived in a high moorland area. I remember being amazed on one holiday by the blue ones growing by the seaside in Wales – and again, when we moved to Southampton 20 years ago. I now have one in my front garden – flanked on both sides by different varieties growing in my neighbours’ gardens – and they give such pleasure when they’re in bloom. Amazingly hardy – and I wish my Mum could see them.
    I’m so pleased to read that they’re surviving the present conditions where you are, Pauline – God bless you all, and send some rain soon!

    • Pauline

      Hi Ann. I’m a recent convert to hydrangeas. They were considered a bit ‘naff’ for a long time, I think because people grew a solitary bush in an otherwise bare lawn. Now they are in vogue and deservingly appreciated. Still almost no rain here in the Mountains. Hoping it arrives overnight.

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