Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn, my God, do you learn.

-C.S. Lewis

Stream In January

Stream In January

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tardiva Hydrangea

I am trying to make my yard as bee-friendly as possible and this is a great plant. It is a tardiva hydrangea and is perfectly suited for my climate and soil conditions. It likes moist, well-drained, acidic soil and is one of the most cold-tolerant of the hydrangeas. It also tolerates some shade. Perfect description of mountain gardening. It is fairly pricey - $29 for the 3 gallon size and $59 for the 5 gallon - so I chose the smaller of the two since it is a very fast grower. It only took my girls about 30 minutes before they found it. I first noticed tardiva hydrangea at our Village Green. I go there quite often. It is quite literally covered with bees. These are big having been planted on the green several years ago. It's quite windy today and the bees were being blown around. I live only 2 miles from the park and wonder if some of the bees are mine.
Better perspective of size next to trees and one of several sculptures in the park. (Not my favorite piece, but has drawn much interest. )

Honeybees close-up. This hydrangea will bloom late into the fall and and the blooms will fade to pink adding long lasting color in the yard.

After this post published, I clicked on the last picture and could see lots of pollen in the basket of the bee on the right. :)


vicree said...

Just a sort of off-the-wall kind of question if you don't mind....

In proportion to a bee's size how much does a bee basket hold?
Bees, unlike some people I know, probably never take on more than they can safely carry. The next time I attempt to lift something that is way too heavy for me I will try to remember their innate wisdom.

PhilipH said...

I seem to get a fair bit of Borage in parts of my garden. My immediate neighbour also has a lot of it too.

Bees seem to love the plant; they go for it in a big way. It is also grown commercially in some farm fields around here but nowadays it is covered over with transparent plastic! I think it is used for sale to some medicinal/drug companies.

On the Antiques Roadshow last week there was a small dome shaped wicker-type basket. It had a faded old postage label and stamp attached. Very tiny object, which turned out to be a queen honey-bee basket! Somebody had apparently ordered a new queen bee and this little cage type of thing was the way it was sent to the buyer. Amazing find.

Kat said...

That is a pretty plant and I am glad the girls like it.

Lynn said...

Sometimes I have to laugh at the bees carrying pollen. They are so heavy them seem to stagger under the weight. Maybe they're not as smart as we think.

Philip. I planted 1 borage plant 2 years ago and now it grows all over my garden. Very vigorous self-seeder. The bees do indeed love it so I don't mind.

Barbara's Spot on the Blog said...

I'll have to make some room to put borage in too. Nothing is so lovely as a great plant covered in honey bees :)