Dear Readers, every year there’s something in the garden that does exceptionally well. Last year, if you remember, we had the angelica, which turned into something of a triffid before subsiding under the sheer weight of the flowers. But this year it’s the climbing hydrangea. Just look at it! And right outside the kitchen door too. It has a very faint but sweet smell, and although the main ‘flowers’ on the flowerheads are sterile, the other blooms produce masses of pollen, which the bumblebees are very keen on.
For anyone with a murky dank corner (I have several) this is pretty much the perfect plant. It doesn’t need a trellis as little roots come out directly from the stems, rather like the legs on a millipede, but it doesn’t intrude into the brickwork in the way that ivy and some other climbers do. Yesterday a pair of robins were hopping about in it, so I hope they’re thinking about popping in a nest. And the sheer abundance of it is really cheering me up, even though it’s a dark and dismal day.
I love the way that gardens have rhythms, with plants reaching a pitch of perfection one year, and having a rest the next. It takes my breath away sometimes. How important it is to just find the time to stop and look at such glory! I feel like inviting everyone round to admire this plant, which has pumped so much sheer biomass out of a little hole in the patio.
And I should say (very quietly) that I don’t usually like hydrangeas much, having rubbished them mentally as being no good for the bees. But this one certainly is, and so are some other species: the smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)…
and the panicled hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculatus) in particular. I remember this latter plant because not only do the bees love the pollen, but the leaf-cutter bees used to cut perfect half-circles out of its leaves.
Anyhow, I was wondering if you have a star plant on your patch, or one that you always admire when you see it, What brings a bit of botanical joy to your week? I wish I could package up my hydrangea and share it with you all, but in the absence of a Star Trek-style transporter system, I guess the blog will have to do…
Photo One By H. Zell – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10383233
Photo Two By KENPEI – KENPEI's photo, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2438698