Oak Leaf Hydrangea: Number 1 in a Garden Photo Series
The Oak Leaf Hydrangea is An Old-Fashioned Shrub
To ask someone to describe how a hydrangea in bloom makes them feel would probably mean that person would break into poetry. Discovering the oak leaf hydrangea in bloom has been known to leave people speechless--for a few minutes--then they are full of questions about this native plant!
HubPages offers information on a wide variety of topics and I’ve enjoyed reading various writer’s work on photography.
Encouraged to make better use of my cameras, this afternoon’s weather and light seemed to afford a perfect opportunity to try some of what I had been reading about by taking some shots of the blooms on my oak leaf hydrangea.
Cool and cloudy after a good rain, my garden’s flowers perked up after some very hot days. They were calling me outdoors, “Come, come, we’re beautiful today!”
After experimenting with various shots I realized that I needed to highlight a few of my favorite plants in a series of hubs. Hope you enjoy them!
The Oak Leaf Hydrangea is a True Native American Plant!
Beginning with my oak leaf hydrangea I tried to get a good shot that would show its 12’ x 8’ size, but I don’t think I was able to get the feel of it in the lens. This photo is from the top level of my front porch in order to get a comparison of its leaves with the dogwood on the left. This plant is truly larger than life, just like America's landscape!
To me, the oak leaf’s individual flowers are very similar to the dogwood’s blooms, albeit a miniature version.
Their profuse blooms literally light up the shadows I have them growing in.
The cone shape of this hydrangea’s bloom is like a grape cluster, and the foliage turns a rich grape color in the fall so my friend laughs when I mess up the name of the plant by calling it a grape leaf hydrangea.
Not only is my 8 year old plant large, but the leaves are also huge. They sort of remind me of a giant sized fig leaf, but whoever named it obviously thought of an oak leaf when they saw it. I think the fig leaf image in my mind also comes from the way the oak leaf’s leaves are arranged on the stems.
Photo Montage of Oak Leaf Beginning to Bloom Under Crepe Myrtle Canopy:Click thumbnail to view full-size
Oak leaf hydrangea is native to the United States, making it the only truly American hydrangea. The flowers are stark white, turning to a pale pink early summer, and the blooms often last into the summer--unless they get too dry.
This is an old-fashioned hardy hydrangea that can withstand most any condition except wet feet. If it sits in damp soil for even a short time it will likely die.
The upside is that it can take some drought, tolerates direct sun and does very well in deep shade. It doesn’t always lose all of its leaves in the winter, even when we have a lot of snow, and its large leaves provide cool shade in the heat of summer. It likes to be left alone, but tolerates pruning well when needed.
There are now a couple of varieties of oak leaf hydrangea, but I cherish this quaint friend for it makes me think of people from years gone by who enjoyed this good-natured plant.
It is easily propagated in a couple of ways, but the easiest is to brush out a clean spot of dirt under the plant and set a biggish rock on one of the prolific lower limbs, then wait. In a season or two, but definitely by the next year, a new plant will have taken root.
You can cut it from the main plant and move it to another location, pot it, or give it to a neighbor. Sure wish I could share a cutting off mine with you!
A Quick Professional Look at the Oak Leaf Hydrangea:
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