Bees in a Blizzard

I spent a lot of time hanging out around the hydrangea yesterday.

My huge Oakleaf Hydrangea is cover in gloriously aromatic blooms.

It is abuzz with bees and many other types of flyers.

I closed my eyes and breathed in the scent as I listened to the hum.

The Oakleaf Hydrangea has blooms about a foot long which blush pink as they age.

Oakleaf Hydrangea/H. quercifolia

The bract-like, sterile flowers serve as umbrellas to protect the pollen and shade the pollinators.

They are like tiny parasols for the blizzard like blooms underneath.

I watched as the bees flew into the blizzard and emerged loaded with pollen.

It looked like a foam party made of meringue. It smelled like one, too.

The Oakleaf hydrangea is a busy place these days.

That’s where you will find me and the bees.


Changing Hydrangeas

June is also the month the Hydrangeas bloom in North Carolina.

I have three types which have different bloom configurations.

Big-leaf/panicle Hydrangeas have pom-pom blooms.

My ‘Glory Blue’ has never been true blue no matter what I do.

My lacecap with variegated leaves is true blue,

unless it is purple…

or even pink!

Do not bother lecturing me on soil pH or hybridization.

The rules get broken here. I am puzzled by my hydrangeas.

Except for the Oakleaf Hydrangea, which I can always count on to be white…

until it turns pink.

Hi Ho Hydrangeas!


Too Much White is a Parasite

I love plants with variegated leaves.

That means that the leaves have patches that are not green.

The non-green parts can be white, yellow or other colors.

The point is that the non-green parts lack chlorophyll.

That means that an all white leaf makes no food of its own.

Variegated Hydrangea leaves

Therefore, all white leaves are parasites on the rest of the plant’s resources.

Variegated Hoya leaves

When this occurs, the pure white parts should be removed.