Monday Macro

First flowers. Image: Su Leslie 2020

About this time last year, the Big T and returned from a road trip to Whanganui, carrying a hydrangea bush, gifted by my step-mother from her garden.

“How to travel with a hydrangea”. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Somehow, it survived two nights in a motel bathroom, a 350km car ride, and twelve months in my care.

Friday flowers

hydrangea oil paint

Image: Su Leslie 2020

There’s not much flowering here at the moment, so here’s “one I prepared earlier” — a hydrangea in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens (with a little painterly editing).

Grounds for hope

New growth on the smaller of my road-trip hydrangeas. Image: Su Leslie 2020

The hydrangea bushes (well, full-sized plant and little stem) brought back from Whanganui are both looking healthy and have new growth.

New flowers on the larger road-trip hydrangea. Image: Su Leslie 2020

Not quite knowing how to care for my gifted plants, I’ve read and tried to follow advice both online and in print. For now, it seems that lavish amounts of attention and water have been enough.

A belated contribution to the Ragtag Daily Prompt | hope

Monday Macro


Hydrangea Homecoming


Smaller plant potted; larger still looking for suitable home in the garden. Image: Su Leslie 2019

It rained so hard during my over-night stop in Turangi that the hydrangea bucket was in danger of overflowing (never mind the river less than 100 metres from my room).

Despite (or maybe because) of the drenching, the plants looked much healthier in the morning and survived the journey home.

I’ve potted the smaller one. It looks a bit wonky with one large flower-head hanging off the side, but there is another, quite robust-looking stem growing straight.

Hydrangea One — the mother-plant — is still bucketed and seems to be doing fine. Now I just have to find a suitable space in the garden for her.

at home with hydrangea1220_5

Image: Su Leslie 2019

The back-story:

How to travel with a hydrangea

How to travel with a hydrangea: day two

Posted to Friday Flowers

How to travel with a hydrangea, day two

My new plant and cutting looked much fresher this morning, after an overnight soak in their bucket. And thanks to the kindly hotelier providing some oversized plastic bags to keep the roots moist, they have made it to my next stop looking only a little limp.

I’m hoping another soak in the bucket, along with some of the abundant rain that’s falling, will keep them alive. I’m in a lodge with garden access, so they can pretend to be at home, rather than a hotel bathroom.

And the chrysanthemums — they’re a gift from my step-mother too, but the vanity was barely big enough for the hydrangeas, so they spent last night in the shower cubicle.

How to travel with a hydrangea

I visited my dad and stepmother today. Seeing how lovely their garden is looking, I confessed to a little hydrangea envy. My stepmother promptly produced a shovel and insisted I dig out a small bush to take home. She then took a cutting from a second hydrangea to give me as well.

I’m spending tonight and tomorrow night in (different) hotels, and I’ve never transported hydrangeas before. They’re spending tonight in a bucket of water in the bathroom, but have a fairly long (and bumpy) car ride tomorrow before I can get them back into the bucket.

Umberto Eco once wrote an essay called ‘How to Travel with a Salmon.’ I’m hoping the hydrangea proves a more rewarding — and less expensive — travelling companion.