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Let me start with as a young gardener I didn’t quite care for them, maybe because they looked boring and old fashion, but somehow over the years that tide has changed and now I’m boring and old fashion and the new varieties of hydrangea are youthful and showy. These beauties have stolen my heart, the deep purples and blue, the showy pinks the greens and whites. Then there are all the shades of blues, and mop heads and cones and flat tops to climbers to minis and to the flowering stars like fire works they twinkle and splay.

Not to sound strange but as a young boy I would accompany my grandmother to the cemetery to help water the flowers on the family graves, as I watered she would clean up the plants and tell me stories about my pasted family and at the time I would think how boring it was, but I was with gramma and she was fun. Later as I matured, I understood what she was doing. She was giving me a sense of self. What I remember of those days, in the cemetery was the large over grown Pee Gee hydrangea with their large white green, that turn to deep rose flower cones that somehow stay nice even in the worst conditions and thought these are rugged plants.

What I have found over the years is that if you stay the course long enough and research long enough you have a stronger understanding of things. Like I didn’t know that Paleontologist actually found fossils of hydrangea blossoms in North America as well as China and Japan and Korea. So I guess they’ve been around awhile!

It took the eighteenth century English plant hunters to search the globe for new beauties to cultivate and to breed new varieties and to give stories and folk-lore to them. The meaning of this flower signify’s a boaster because its showy flower never bares fruit. It was also believed that the roots of Hydrangea – (arborescens ) was used in treatment of kidney stones. And one last one, to plant a hydrangea on the grave of a loved one would ensure a safe passage to heaven!

Here in the Garden Shire our Hydrangea are in full bloom. The colors just change not only the look of the garden but its feeling, everything seems to dance together now. Hydrangea in most part are semi shade lovers and often like water at their feet but as I said earlier I’ve seen them in the worst of condition doing well. The trick to color changes and intensity is acidity of the soil, if you want more color add ammonium sulfate or to lighten the colors ad lime, try the new liquid lime it works faster. Have fun with this I love the surprises you get. Don’t think that what I’m about to say is a cop-out, but as not to bore you with all the science that goes with these beauties, check out this book a quick and fun read; Hydrangea by Daria Price Bowman, you will love the pictures too. Or go to www.usna.usda.gov also check out this nursery www.hydrangea.com  and learn all you need to know about my new but old found friends Hydrangea. and by the way let me know what you might think of Jan’s slide show of the Shire’s Hydrangea, Enjoy!

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A thought; Old things can be new again, with new feelings you didn’t feel before. taxes online gambling

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