|Mophead Hydrangea macrophylla|
The soil's pH level
determines the flower color
The Cape is mourning its hydrangeas this year. One of the reasons Hydrangea macrophylla can flourish here is our warmer winters. People envision Massachusetts as a cold Northern state, but Cape Cod sticks out into the ocean, surrounded by water in every direction. The temperature of the ocean water helps keep our air warmer during the winter months. But this past winter was brutal (see: Good Riddance, February).
The summer blooms come from the "old wood", the stalks that are exposed to the cold and frost all winter long. Generally in the spring, leaves and buds begin to grow from the old wood, as new growth emerges from the soil to fill out the plant. But apparently the winter this year here was so cold, the freezing temps actually killed the old wood. While new growth came in as expected, the buds on the old wood never appeared.
|Love my sis|
|Two pale blooms on the left shrub, just one on the right|
|Only one bloom - far left - between these two shrubs|
If you need a taste of Cape Cod as the summer winds down, try my ghost story/romance GULL HARBOR. I set this one near the National Seashore, by one of the Cape's many kettle ponds. Claire's a medium, in town to rid an old house of its aggressive poltergeist. She's expecting a challenge as she investigates the haunting--but she never expects to encounter Max Baron, the man who promised to love her forever, then abandoned her without a hint of an explanation after college graduation. Is Gull Harbor big enough for both of them?