While visiting Vancouver this summer, we visited Van Dusen Gardens for the first time. Oh, what a delight! To my surprise, there were still hydrangea in bloom. The hydrangea season in Japan is long gone so this was a real treat! And not only were there hydrangea, but there were several varieties I wasn't familiar with at all. The colouring on several where quite unusual too, including this one below. Such a rich and intense purple! Ah, so beautiful! I will be back!
The heat is relentless. My garden is in a sorry state and flowers are few and far between. My main gardening goal this time of year is just to get my plants through the summer. Will they survive? We shall see.
Thoughts turn to cooler summers spent in Canada and of my mother's garden. She had several kinds of poppies but I especially loved these. One section of the yard was full of them and they were a glorious sight waving in the breeze...
Today I was looking through photos from my visit to my parents' farm last summer and I came across some of my mother's flowers. My parents no longer live on the farm but at the time my mother had 7 separate gardens and all of them, except one, were dedicated to flowers, mostly lilies.
Along the side of the one vegetable garden was a fence to keep out the deer and inside that fence my mother had planted flowers that grew tall and needed support, such as gladiolus. They were in bloom while I was there and the colours were so rich and glorious! To be honest, I found them quite challenging to photograph because of their shape and the location along the fence. (Imagine me hemmed in by the corn on one side and the fence on the other, trying to angle the camera so I could get the light I wanted but without the fence being a part of the image. Not so easy!) After repeated tries, I finally came up with this. Ah...they were so lovely!
In the previous post I wrote about starting 4 hydrangea cuttings. So far we have most certainly lost one, if not two. One looks quite healthy but that's the only one I have any confidence about. Only time will tell. I will keep you posted. (Update: Sadly, not a single cutting survived...)
Soon after the last posting, a good friend sent me a link to a website with all the names of the hydrangea varieties that can be seen at a city park in Kobe. (See the link below.) To my delight I discovered the name of hydrangea variety that I like so much. It's called "uzu-ajisai" and is also sold in flower shops as "otafuku-ajisai". Apparently "uzu" refers to a whirlpool and the unique shape of the petals are thought to mirror the swirling of the water. ("Ajisai" means "hydrangea".)
The photo below is also "uzu-ajisai" but is a little pinker than the one in the previous post. It grows in front of an elementary school I pass every time I visit my mother-in-law's house. It was the first "uzu-ajisai" I had ever seen and I have made a point to seek it out every time hydrangea season comes around.
I'm so pleased I can now identify this variety.
Only how many more to learn? (^.~)
(Take a look at the link to get an idea! The hydrangea are divided into 5 main types and then further subdivided. There must be over 100 different names. <http://hottime.sakura.ne.jp/ajisai.htm>)
Yesterday, after visiting the hydrangea garden in Yanagidani Kannon in western Kyoto, we stopped in at a small JA shop. (JA = Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives) We picked up some fresh vegetables and, as we headed to the register, I noticed several buckets full of lilies and hydrangea. The hydrangea were a variety I love, but rarely see, and I ended up buying 5 stalks for about $2.00 for the whole bunch. Oh, and 5 stalks of lilies for the same price.
As we were paying, the cashier asked if I wanted cuttings as well. Cuttings? Apparently it is easy to grow hydrangea from cuttings and she just happened to have 4 of the same variety I was buying. In fact, probably from the same plant. Did I want them?! YES, PLEASE! So, my task for today has been figuring out how to prepare the cuttings properly. I've never done this before and if it works, I will be so pleased! I will keep you posted. In the meantime, the flowers below are now brightening my kitchen counter. (Update: Alas, no luck at all...)
P.S. This link illustrates 4 methods for growing hydrangea from cuttings. I'm using method 3. https://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Hydrangea-from-Cuttings
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.