Around this time last year I picked up a pot of a climbing hydrangea known as Moonlight. It was to be a housewarming gift for my daughter's new house. She loves hydrangeas so this was a different and appropriate gift. Little did I know what I was getting into.
In the Fall of that year I had a lunch for my friends at the Dawson Arts Council who had invited me to do a presentation on the Art of Entertaining and invited my friend Sandra Jonas and a couple of the members of the Atlanta Hydrangea Society whom I had met on their tour.
After lunch we had a walk around my pitiful garden exchanging ideas on what to do next. Sandra had brought me a cutting of one of her hydrangeas, a specimen I had marveled at during the tour, and we were trying to pick out a good spot.
All of a sudden there was a commotion at the gate leading to the garden in back of the house. Jeepers, did someone see a snake?! There I found the ladies marvelling at my newly planted baby bush of the climbing hydrangea. "I have had one for six years and it has never bloomed" one said to the others. They all looked closely and Sandra, taking one leaf in her hand whispered..."It's the Moonlight". The WHAT?! Schizophragma hydrangeoides ’Moonlight’, also known as the Japanese climbing hydrangea. Here is an old post from Sandra.
Well, no matter, if it didn't bloom for them, it wouldn't bloom for me. Great excuse. I poured over every book I could find and, sure enough, they all said the same thing...patience. It is the most beautiful climber you will ever find and if you are really patient it will reward you with beautiful blooms in..oh about eight years. But don't give up. Great, I would probably be dead by then, although I was consoled by the fact that the leaves were beautiful and we should be so lucky as to have it in our garden.
and then this:
And finally, when I returned from New York I was greeted with this:
Talk about beginners luck! And the smell...to die for! Goes to show you, its about a plant liking its environment. The dryer vents a couple of feet away. Could that be the game changer? Frankly I don't know and I don't care. It is simply the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and I can't wait until it gets bigger and climbs all over the fence. Yes, this is better than living in a condo. Much, much better!
All photos Lindaraxa