I think this is the year when my garden and I are finally in sync. I've been working on it for over 10 years, and the challenges have been many. First of all, we are renting, and the soil is non-existent. As a result, almost all of my plants are in containers. Since I have over 150 of them, watering is a challenge, as is keeping their roots from cooking in their pots in the extreme heat of summer. And then, of course, I was working full tilt for many years with little time to spare. Thankfully, that has changed and being able to spend time in the garden every day has made a big difference. I've been tending my plants more carefully this year, and the effort has paid off. My garden exploded with an abundance of healthy growth and fragrant blooms. (To my astonishment, even my roses are thriving!) Ah, I am so grateful for this hobby. Although my younger self would have rolled her eyes at the very idea of gardening, it has made a huge difference to my mental health and has saved me many times over.
These photos were taken in my garden over the past few days.
As you may have noticed, I'm making a few changes around here. Nothing major so far; I've changed the theme and a few fonts. However, I'm also in the process of changing how the photos are accessed. It's a major undertaking so it may take some time. Wish me luck! Now, back to work...
(It's the rainy season which means hydrangea! This was taken at a temple in the south-west corner of Kyoto up in the hills.)
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!
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.