May 12, 2009

what a lovely (albeit very little) surprise

The first Spring Matt and I were in our house I waited with baited breath for the most unusual and beautiful blooms I vivdly remembered from the year before when we were merely considering buying the house.

That Spring came. And went. The plant never bloomed. It was hearty and lush and gigantic and green. But only green. Matt considered that there had never in fact been blooms. That perhaps it was merely figment of my imagination (sadly, this was not too far fetched of an assumption). I started to believe him until a neighbor told me it wasn't what i thought and to be patient.

So i waited. The next year came and went and nothing still. It wasn't that I didn't love the plant. It was a lovely addition to our yard. It's just that the memory of what I thought it was continued to taunt me and year after year. Each Spring I would stalk around waiting (and waiting) for it to bloom. As Fall would approach I would (finally) realize (yet again) it wasn't going to happen.

I eventually started to research what this ever-growing, never-blooming gigantic green thing was. As Spring of last year was drawing near I was approaching upon a conclusion. I decided this might be an oak leaf hydrangea - okay, maybe my neighbor told me, but still.

That very year, the thing bloomed! It was gigantic and glorious with hundreds of elegant blooms. They were at first pristine and white then a faded sunset pink and ultimately turned the perfect shade of ruddy brown for Fall. It was beautiful in each season. Then it was gone.

Before I finished my research - it pretty much stopped once the blooms came - our (uninformed) "gardener" pruned my precious plant. to. the. ground. Apparently that wasn't the first time such a prune job had been conducted. My research concluded with the knowledge that the more you prune this species the less it blooms (essentially. i'm sure someone who is much more yard savvy than i can better explain this). But of course! Said gardener is actually more of a demolition man who keeps our yard from being overgrown and not much more. The one year we had a blooming plant was apparently the result of his "negligence" the Fall before.

With my new understanding of what this was and why and when it bloomed, I knew this year we would not have another Spring full of foilage and didn't anticipate an encore of last year's show.

Until I returned from an extended stay away a week ago and found... BLOOMS! They are very few and not too big but they are here! And I am thrilled. Be rest assured I will be present on clean-up day this Fall to protect my beloved (and now known!) oak leaf hydrangea!

Here are a few pictures of this year's display:

post by arre


  1. That is an Oak Leaf! A year ago I lived in a magical house on Grady Ave here in Athens. We, too, had Oak Leaf hydrangeas there and they are so so glorious. We were also blessed with tea olive, hydrangeas galore, jasmine and an hibiscus tree. We are now in a shadier part of The Boulevard and I very much miss all of our old morning sunshine loving friends. I have since decided that once again I must uproot my family to find sunnier mornings for flowers and also a special afternoon patch of sun for vegetables. Congrats "mom"! I know the feeling!

  2. i am so glad you took pictures before i came over this morning and cut them all OFF!! (for arrangements i might add, not to discard!) actually, i think i left 3 or 4..but thank you thank you!! i'll take pictures of the arrangements tomorrow so you can see your blooms again :)

  3. there are two huge bushes of these up at the farm. i've always wondered what they were, and knew they were some sort of hydrangea. someone asked me just the other day and i just told them some sort of hydrangea, but now i know. thanks!!


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