The Afrikaans name for hydrangeas is Christmas Roses – appropriate, as they dominate gardens in so many parts of the country during December. Last Saturday our Rotary Club hosted the annual Christmas lunch for pensioners, and each table had a large flat dish of baby blue mopheads, three white candles and a  sprinkling of thread-like silver tinsel. Not quite the way northerners picture  Christmas – but very appropriate in South Africa!

Personally I tend to favour a well-grown lacecap to a mophead, as the plant is more graceful. Having said that, I collect every hydrangya I can lay my hands on. But I have yet to grow a climbing hydrangya successfully – I suspect few other have because one seldom sees them for sale, and I have never seen H. aspera, which I truly crave, and several other famous species and cultivars in South Africa.  Above is H. serrata ‘Blue Bird’ in the Cottage Garden, and below H. macrophylla ‘ Blue Wave’ and H. quercifolia grow above the wall below the big house.


8 thoughts on “WEEKLY PIC: DECEMBER WEEK 2

    • I’ve done some brilliant things in my life (he said modestly), but that blue window is one of the better ones. It was repainted three times before I was satisfied that it matched the sky on a clear summer’s day!

  1. Hello sequoiagardens,

    Unfortunately for me, every hydrangea I’ve tried to grow has died. I suppose there aren’t many that are hardy in Alaska but I am admiring yours from afar. Great pictures!

    Cheers from Alaska,
    Christine B.

    • Hello Christine, and welcome to an African summer! Even on the coldest day of winter here I can’t begin to imagine what gardening in your climate must be like! Jack

  2. I have several kinds of hydrangeas, and I love them all. Thanks for the lovely photos. All of your posts are so interesting. I really enjoyed your last post also, with the close-ups. I have a rosa mutabilis, too, and it grows wonderfully in my zone 7b climate.

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