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.
Bees and butterflies are attracted to the blooms.
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?
No wonder it wanted a bit of advice about the future.
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.
A nice spot for a cool drink and a snack in high summer;
And on the subject of food….hydrangea 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.
UPDATE – JANUARY 2023. It seems counter intuitive, but I wonder whether hydrangeas can suffer from too much rain? This year, after the wettest 18 months on record, only one of my shrubs flowered.
For everything you need to know about growing them, CLICK HERE.