Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Tale of Two Hydrangeas

 I took this photo of a little sweat bee in a yard that contained two kinds of hydrangea bushes. This bush had lacy blossoms in the center of each flower head. Each center is made up of many tiny florets with anthers containing pollen. It was alive with bumble bees scrambling across the blue filaments, and tiny bees foraging for pollen and nectar. The other bush had no visible stamens. It was pretty, but silent, like a statue of a hydrangea.

 So there you have a dramatic illustration of the choice we have in planting our gardens. Do we want to support our bees with pollen-rich plants, or do we want to put our time, money, space, and water into plants that do nothing for our pollinators?

Certainly I am not about to rip up the two hydrangeas that grace the side of our front door. They were here before we were, and I have fond memories of them blooming on the sunny afternoon our son was baptized at the Lutheran Church around the corner. However I would consider planting another lacy climbing hydrangea--if we had the space!

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