This hydrangea, a lacecap, slowly opens a pale, pale blue and then turns into this beautiful shade of cobalt blue - in my head I had always called it 'Nikko Blue' but I know that isn't correct: 'Nikko Blue' is a mophead hydrangea, not a lacecap, and it's also not 'Bluebird' - I have two of those and the intensity of their blue pales in comparison to this one, and their flowers are smaller as well. Regardless of it's name, I am amazed each June when it's color changes and it becomes covered in such wonderful color.
Today's lesson has been one in the power of stress, and I won't go into all of the sordid (painful) details but I'll just say that it catches up with you - sometime, somewhere - and if you can avoid it, do. Sometimes we can't though, and it catches up with us and we pay the price for not being aware of it strength. Enough of that though - another day, another lesson learned the hard way. Oh well - onto lighter topics.
Groundcovers. Now how light and random is that? I have an area of grass in my garden that is surrounded by six live oaks - and on the perimeter of this area I've started planting azaleas and camellias and hydrangeas and dogwoods and redbuds and Acanthus and toad lilies...but I've been looking for some interesting groundcovers to fill in some of the open areas at the edges of the border. I have some hostas in one area that I'll divide this fall and spread around, some ferns too - but this winter I discovered something new at Pete's (new to me at least) - Farfugium japonicum. I started by planting three of the solid green ones (var. Crispatum) and one with the variegated leaves (var. Aureomaculatum) and I have to say that I'm more fond of the solid leaf (what wonderful crinkled edges!) than the variegated one. To me, the yellow splotches in 'Aureomaculatum' look oddly like some viral disease - perhaps it'll grow on me over time. Even more fun is the one Pete showed me a week or so ago that I brought home (but won't plant until it's a bit larger) - a small (just planted plug) of Farfugium japonicum var. giganteum. The small size of this one at present is misleading; evidently it can reach a height of 1-2' with a similar spread. All of these should produce flowers in late summer (Sept-Oct) - yellow daisy-like flowers atop tall flower spikes (evidently alot of people cut the flowers off because they think they distract from the foliage display). Supposedly the Farfugiums are native to wet areas - but the ones that I put in the ground during the winter easily survived our very dry lowcountry spring and didn't seem too worse for wear. So...so far, so good. I like them.
Time to try and read for awhile. It's been a long day.