Monday, July 29, 2013

Hydrangea Hideaway

The sun has come out at last!  It seemed like we alternated cloudy days and rainy days for weeks and weeks.  Truthfully, because of the rainy weather and the swarms of mosquitoes that seemed to come with it (including the Asian Tiger mosquito, who doesn't bother with the 'dark or dusk' rule of most mosquitoes and feels comfortable attacking at any time of day), I've been staying inside most of the time.  At the first sign of sun last week, however, we packed up and went to the South Carolina Botanical Garden.

Because of the near-constant shade at our property, I was naturally drawn to the shade gardens there.  One of my shade favorites, the hydrangea, was blooming in full force.

White hydrangeas...

Pink hydrangeas...

Blue hydrangeas...

And one of my favorites, oak leaf hydrangeas...

Look at those flowers!  Green and white is one of my favorite combinations, too.

The "non-ruffled" are still beautiful, though.

My blue hydrangeas never bloomed, probably because of overcast skies and too much rain.  I have high hopes for next year, though.

I'm still learning about how colorful shade gardens can be.

It's still strange to me to use leaves instead of flowers for impact.

Next year I'm going to fill in our bare shade patches with impatiens.  They're annuals, but they bloom all summer long and provide nice color.  If you're lucky, the leaves help out too!

Even though I'm laser-focused on shade, I couldn't help but admire the sun-lovers there.  Crepe myrtles are blooming all over the Upstate area, in pink, purple, and white.  They bloom all summer long and have lovely, smooth trunks.

Coneflowers are great too, and very hardy.

Where you have coneflowers, you have butterflies!  This yellow swallowtail butterfly is very common here.

 Butterflies also graced the aptly-named butterfly we have a black swallowtail.

I bet these plants were happy to finally see the sun!

This interesting plant's petals formed a kind of balloon when closed.

It's a kind of bellflower (campanula), I think.  Very unique!

Borga *loves* a walk in the park.  The more new friends, the better!

SCBG has a large lake lined with lily pads.  Someday I want to have a huge water garden, and these plants are at the top of my list.  The "dirt" on top is debris from the trees, brought down by the rain.

No self-respecting lake is without a few turtles.

This turtle was sunning himself, but most turtles were swimming close to shore.

Of course we saw lots of dragonflies...

...and a motley assortment of ducks.

Hooray for the sun!

I've been "clicking" but not really "knitting" or "stirring" much.  I've finally started a new knitting project, and hopefully I'll be whipping up a new recipe when more company comes in two weeks.

Have a great day!


  1. i love reading your blog! the blue flower bud that looks like a balloon IS actually known as Balloon Flower --aka Platycodon. i used to grow it many years ago, but moved and now cannot find the old tall variety anywhere...

    i must warn you about growing impatiens. they have developed a very nasty virus (?) -- i'm having a senior moment here, and can't recall exactly what is wrong with them, BUT whatever it is, it's wreaking havoc with our beloved impatiens and they all just rot away. this has been going on for a few years, and it is highly recommended NOT TO BUY them. even growing them from seed can continue the problem. so i have sadly given up on them and will wait 3 or more years before i plant them again.

    regards, roxanna

  2. Thanks, and thanks for the identification and the impatiens tips! I hope healthier plants are available next year!

  3. Beautiful pictures. One of my favorite dried flower is the hydrangea. And I LOVE dragonflies.

  4. Me too! I hope our hydrangea blooms next year. I also planted a lime one, but it's probably too soon for blooms!