Thursday, August 16, 2007

FLOWER POWER


After weeks of drought, it finally rained last night, which made my hydrangeas happy.

Hydrangeas are a subject near and dear to my heart. ‘Pia’ is one of my favorites. I have two bushes on either side of the stepping stones leading to my patio (see above).

It’s sold as a dwarf but it’s only slightly shorter than other varieties. The bush is more compact, however, and the flowers are a magical mix of dreamy colors (photo below).

Recently, I discovered a hydrangea on the Little French Garden House blog (see blog du jour) that I’ve got to have. I queried ‘Little French’ about the second photo in her posting and learned that it’s called ‘Royal Ruby’.

“Here in our hot California climate ‘Royal Ruby’ never is red, just a dark dark pink. I bought it at Trader Joe's! It is about 5 years old, and after it blooms reddish, it turns burgundy, then green,” says Lidy of 'Little French'.

To view some great flower porn, check out www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com. There’s a link to a portfolio of ‘Endless Summer’ photos, too. From the photos on the site, you can see the one drawback of these free flowering bushes. The flowers tend to be a solid color – without the mottling that I love -- although they do change color as the flowers mature. Personally, I prefer 'Pia'.


*** THE FRENCH CONNECTION ***
While in France, I photographed dozens of hydrangeas.

Parisiennes are mad for these bouquet-like bushes.

Although the most commonly grown type in America (Hydrangea macrophylla) are commonly called French Hydrangea, the French grow dozens of beautiful varieties – ‘Lace Cap’ (photobelow) ‘Anabelle’ and oak leaf types.

Including this gorgeous pink one I photographed at the Rodin museum.

The Rodin Museum has at least 200 hydrangea bushes of all types. Not all were in peak shape during my visit but enough were for me to snap off at least 50 photos!

The hedge of white mop caps was breathtaking ( photo below)

Our B & B in Honfleur, also had several gorgeous hydrangeas --all white (photo in blog box). Originally a convent for Augustine nuns, the B & B consisted of a number of small buildings from the 17th century (around a flower-filled coutyard).


***** BLOG DU JOUR *****
Lidy grew up in Europe and loves gardens, antiques, cottages, rhinestones and everything that sparkles. Visit once and you'll be hooked. http://littlefrenchgardenhouse.blogspot.com

7 comments:

PresentPast Collection said...

You always have the most amazing photos of such beautiful places! I adore hydrangeas and think they make the most spectacular garden show! Thanks for sharing such stunning blooms.
Smiles, Heather

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I LOVE hydrangeas! I wish I had a bigger yard to plant more. I'm going to go check out that hydrangea website now, thanks so much for sharing!

PAT said...

Beautiful hydrangea photos!

We have Annabelle, Nikko and Endless Summer. They didn't fair so well this year, due to our late frost. Perhaps we'll see some great blooms next year!

Pat

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Barbara,

Thank you so much for making my blog your Blog Du Jour! I appreciate it, and it couldn't come at a better time, since I am having a give~away this week. So I hope everyone puts their name in for Kerri's great book!

I love your Pia's ....I don't have that one yet, so I will be on the look-out. The hydrangeas in France are gorgeous...all over Europe they are huge...and amazing.

ps. I agree with you, I love the hydrangeas that change colors a little, for a "mottled" effect.
Lidy

Penny Carlson said...

Just beautiful! The photos of all the hydrangeas are stunning. I love all the colors from white, pink, lavender, blue, wine, burgandy, deep fucshia....amazing!
Penny
www.lavenderhillstudio.com

Tutti Chic said...

Hydrangeas are my FAVORITE flowers & you have captured the beauty of some wonderful varieties. I agree about the endless summer being one color, but the beauty of these bushes is that they bloom on new & old wood so there bloom time is so much longer! They can also be planted in full sun!! I plant lots of these for my garden customers because they are so easy to care for here in N.E. My favorite is the white mop head or mop cap though!!! They are so lush & so white!! Thanks barbara, for the inspiring shots!!!

Mrs. B. said...

I am a hydrangea NUT! Thank you for the lovely pictures. Not just of flowers but homes, vacations, gardens...