If the Star Trek Enterprise landed nearby and The Federation decided to whisk Kentuckians away to a newly inhabited planet in a nearby solar system. And they needed only one plant to start the new ecosystem.
And Captain Kirk asked my opinion….I would tell him to bring hydrangea.
I mean, I know corn or wheat or barley would be a good choice to feed the masses.
And Mr. Spock might prefer brussels sprouts.
But the hydrangea is a wonder of nature.
I’ve been a fan of hydrangea for years, but this is certainly not the mutual admiration society.
I adore hydrangea, but they don’t give me the time of day.
Actually, until two months ago we weren’t even speaking…..and all because they would not bloom.
I asked local nurseries and the extension office and peppered every available successful hydrangea grower within a 50 mile radius.
And I definitely got plenty of advice.
(1) I moved the bushes to a place with more shade.
(2) I didn’t trim back the dried stalks from the previous year.
(3) I mulched them in the winter to make sure they didn’t freeze.
And I waited. And waited. And waited for my hydrangea to bloom.
For two years.
Not a bloom in sight.
I can even remember stopping by a house with a gigantic hydrangea bush. It was beautiful and lush with hydrangea blooming on every stalk. As I walked up to the door I thought this must be how the pilgrims felt when they first glimpsed the new world….because it appeared that this was the pinnacle of hydrangea propagation.
I knew that here….here I would find the answer to my hydrangea dry-spell.
And you know what she told me? That expert hydrangea owner. You know what she did to create those incredible hydrangea bushes? Hydrangea bushes that would make you swoon. That would make my little non-flowering hydrangea hang its head in perpetual shame and turn to the monkey grass for comfort.
She told me that she…..wait for it…..wait for it….she…..
….she did absolutely NOTHING.
That’s right, absolutely nothing.
How depressing. It wasn’t fair. It felt exactly like when I read that Heidi Klum maintained her incredibly svelte model figure after giving birth….by eating cheeseburgers.
I just think that some people have all the luck.
But I’m not one to take the “nothing” explanation lying down. I wasn’t going to let something like, “I don’t know. I don’t really do anything to make my hydrangea bloom” defeat me.
So I Googled.
And I read. And read. And read.
And then one day I found something that worked. Something that made my hydrangea bloom like they had been asked to the senior prom by the star football player.
And it was so simple.
And right under my nose all the time.
And maybe a used tea bag or two.
That’s all it took.
To have baskets and baskets of hydrangea.
Fragrant, incredible, beautiful hydrangea.
Enough to decorate my summer mantel and fill the house with blooms.
Good thing I figured it out and I’m ready with all my expert hydrangea advice for the Enterprise’s next visit.
Beam me up Scotty and I hope Captain Kirk is a coffee drinker 🙂
PS If you don’t drink Coffee, I just read that Starbucks gives their coffee grounds away to use for fertilizer.
PPS I am linking this up over at Funky Jumk!