Saturday, July 28

When is a flower not a flower?

Do you remember the lovely mophead hydrangea that a friend bought us as a summerhouse warming gift?
It has been really beautiful but surprisingly it isn't the flowers that are the most attractive part of the plant. The tiny four petalled  flowers sit in the centre of a ring of larger bracts and are fairly insignificant.
The bracts are modified leaves and it is they that actually provide the colourful display.
You may remember that, last year, I bought another type of hydrangea to plant in my white and blue border. I wanted hydrangea quercifolia which luckily a local nursery managed to source for me. (Sadly for us this nursery is closing at the end of September as the owners are retiring. With few 'real' nurseries remaining they will be very much missed).

Hydrangea quercifolia has pointed oak-like shaped leaves ...
and white flowers.
I'm really pleased with how this plant is growing as I didn't expect it to flower in its first year but it has produced plenty of clusters of 'flower' heads although the rain has spattered the bracts spoiling them a little.
The leaves of quercifolia should have good autumn colour but last year the leaves stayed green so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next winter.

PS - Only two more days left to enter the sudoku competition. Can you believe that it is almost August!!!

15 comments:

  1. Now that is one plant i do not have. May be time for a change.

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    1. The leaves of the one in the pot are attractive too awpol

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  2. Hydrangeas don't do very well in my garden usually - but I love the lace cap type.

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  3. Hydrangeas remind me of my Granny! She always used to bury old nails in the soil near them, in order to enhance their colour. I seem to remember than the iron nails made the flowers a deep red colour...

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    1. Yes the flowers change colour a bit like litmus paper, Mark. I think aluminium gives a more blue color and adding lime can make the colour more pinkish. White flowers stay white though.

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  4. I love those close up pictures of the pink hydrangea - so pretty!

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    1. I has been a lovely plant Kelli but is starting to go over now.

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  5. Those pink flower is really beautiful! Mine is in the pot. Never see them flowering for the past 1 year....sigh.....

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    1. Do you cut back the stems Malr as if so you could be cutting off the flower buds.

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  6. Well both Hydrangeas are very pretty....nearly August...I can't believe how quickly the year has passed!!

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    1. I know Tanya in one ways its come up quickly but spring seems ages ago!

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  7. Hmmm...you are tempting me to try growing Hydrangeas.
    Oh congratulation I just realised you have 200 followers now :).

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    1. I did have 201 this morning Diana, but someone has dumped me. They must have decided that I wasn't worth reading after all - sniff sniff.

      It's funny how much it bothers me when the number of followers goes down. I start to think what did I do to turn them off?

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    2. Ouch - what did I say? - Another follower has dumped me and I'm back to 199.

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