Monday, June 14, 2010

Chronicles of the Mystery Bush....

Three and half years ago when we bought this ranch I was given a ton of "lessons" in things to care for on the property by the previous owners. Among that list was needed critical care for some bushes that are along the side of a detached garage that is behind the house. I got the impression that these bushes were high maintenance and they needed to be pruned every year to grow right etc...However the woman never did tell me what this bush was. So this started a family battle on guessing what it was!

The very first family gathering I had out here was Easter of '07 and all of us ladies of the family gathered around the bushes to try to figure out what they were. You see we are all very avid flower and garden lovers and I think my Granny is the queen bee and she pretty much knows it all. So she gave me her opinion of what they were and lo and behold a fairly new married into the family Aunt pops in and proceeds to tell my Granny that she is wrong! So from that point on the quest began to find out just exactly what these flower bushes were! So I took to careful pruning of the bushes and nothing....Nope not one single bud of a flower was to be seen!! So the next year again I pruned oh so carefully....And again...Nothing! Now after these two years have passed I'm just flat out annoyed because I *really* want to know! So this third year I decided I was done with them! Not gonna touch them because they don't like me and I don't like them!

One afternoon my brother came to visit and we were out back so he and his wife could pick some lilacs to take home and I pointed out the two bushes (there used to be three, but the smallest one died off) and told him how I had worked so hard on these dumb things but I was officially done with them and their dead stalks coming up out of them! He says to me "well that's the problem, you need to leave them alone....Those *sticks* growing up out of them that look dead, that's where the flowers will bud on"....HUH?! Brother say WHAT?! Apparently he had one of these where he used to live and since he's not a flower kind of guy he never touched them but did notice enough that they always bloomed on these dead ends!

So I did just as he said and did nothing and much to my amazement over the course of the next few weeks they started budding these things that to me that resembled the surface of a horse apple on a horse apple tree! They were bright green and then after many days they started blooming these white blooms that then after some more days they would start to turn a very light blue. Finally after each bloom was fully bloomed it would turn this really pretty rich blue color!! I was dumbfounded! I mean I think I'm pretty knowledgeable about flowers but I can't remember ever having been around this flower.

So I did what I do best and Googled it! Quickly I figured out this mystical flowering bush is a Hydrangea! I now understand why the previous owner was so adamant about me caring for these bushes as they are pretty special! I am amazed to learn of all the different colors they can be and how you can actually alter the color of the flowers by changing elements in your soil! So I have decided that I will be transplanting and purchasing some more in various colors to plant around my property!

So after all of my research I finally got my butt in gear and cleaned up the whole area that was over grown with weeds due to my decision to neglect them....It now is all ready for some colorful mulch and some more plants where the third one was. Oh and I am glad to finally have an answer for my family, however I cannot remember now who's guess was right LOL!!

These pictures were taken with my HTC EVO during the start of a massive storm so the wind kind of interfered with any chance of getting still pictures of them LOL! That pile in the bottom corner of the first picture would be the pile of weeds I pulled out...Not to bad, right?!


  1. LOL, yup, that's what they are. Aren't they beautiful? Nothing prettier than a bunch of them in water on a table either. Good job on the cleanup.

  2. We call them "snowball" bushes and they are gorgeous!

  3. I love hydrangeas! You're so lucky to have inherited them. We inherited one hydrangea bush when we bought our house but it was small and in a really bad location so we tore it out. However the 20-something rose bushes that also came with the house are prolific! Your two plants look great now that things have been cleaned up! So beautiful!

  4. I love hydrangeas, too. Ours are blue here, but at our old house, they were pink! It all depends on the acidity in the soil, doesn't it? Yours are lovely, too.

  5. LOL-As soon as I saw the bud, I recognized them for Hydrangeas, but probably would have never recognized the plant.

    Those are nice bushes.

    I've been studying perennials a lot lately. Now that we have a place with irrigation, I cannot wait to put in some interesting flower beds.

    Does anyone else get confused and overwhelmed when they start trying to plan these things though?

  6. Oh, I just love hydrangeas! Yours have a gorgeous blue color, I love 'em!

  7. Oh girlie - you totally should have asked your blog buddies, cuz I actually knew the answer to that one (says the girl who kills every plant she looks at).

    I LOVE hydrangeas and they are pretty darn near my favorite. Put a rusty nail in the dirt nearby and see if you can mess with the alkaline of the soil to get some really vivid colors! :)

    I cannot wait for ours to bloom... and I'm leaving them alone, ha ha!

    Beautiful flowers - glad you have them!

  8. Yep, we have hydrangea's too!! Love them.
    I hate weeding though, so I kinda neglect some areas where they are. It just kills my knees and back to do it.

  9. The flowers are interesting story!

  10. Jeni~ You know I have a friend who has some white ones and she calls them "snowballs"!!

    AM~ Yes by changing the PH of the soil it can change their color!

    Bec~ Absolutely!!! I just love vivid colors and always throw stuff together! In my opinion as long as you have lots of color you can't go wrong!!

    Rach~ I will totally do that when I transplant them!

    PG~ The Hubby called me a "pack mule" when I pulled all the weeds LOL!! I too hate to do it cause of the pain that comes with it, but if I just get in the right mindset and start I can't stop until it's just right! It's this stupid *perfection* OCD thing LOL ;)

  11. That's too funny! I live in Northwest Washington and we have hydrangeas all over. They are not finicky at all, at least in our climate. They go beautifully in a flower arrangement with Dahlias! Enjoy your flowers!


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