Who would imagine that dear old hydrangeas would hold up so well during the recent fires and heatwave conditions in the 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.‘
However, apart from the odd rose they have been the only flowers available for me pick, along with hot-lips salvia. Mine are growing in semi-shade and have a thick, natural mulch of fallen leaves. They haven’t been watered much at all, as we are on restrictions and can only use buckets. My efforts have been concentrated on shallow rooted azaleas.
Bees and butterflies appreciate them too. There is much less nectar available as the garden dries up.
I really love the photo below, even though it is heartbreaking. Just before Christmas the fire here at Blackheath roared up from the Grose Valley to Perry’s Lookout and Anvil Rock, then ultimately into the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens. There was serious damage, but look at this brave survivor;
Once the fires subsided and the threat to our own place passed (at least temporarily), I walked up to Blackheath village. In Park Avenue the old-fashioned hydrangea variety pictured below was holding up pretty well in fall sun. There is something comforting about seeing flowers your mother and grandmother grew…..and God knows we need a bit of comfort.
Mind you, the high temperatures have been a nasty shock for us all, including the dear old shrubs. Look at the shock on that quaint little face!
No wonder it wanted a bit of advice about the future and the changing climate.
NOTE – Yes, the hydrangeas are doing their best in the circumstances, but when the rain finally comes they will be extremely thankful…… and so will I.