Hydrangea aspera 'Villosa' - Nature's MeatballTuesday, July 08, 2008
I wrote about Hyrandgea aspera here. I have three types. Hydrangea aspera has narrow leaves. H. aspera ssp. sargentiana has very large leaves and in between is Hydrangea aspera 'Villosa'. The flowers of all three are lacecaps of subtle earthy colours. None are bright pink or blue. Before the flowers open they look like little uncooked meatballs. Or at least that's what I thought until I put them under the scrutiny of my scanner yesterday afternoon.
Unlike my roses that cry for attention. with their beauty and scent my hydrangeas are faithful, need minimum care and by mid-summer when the roses are gone or faded they provide colour and interest in the garden. They manage to survive the August drought (with a few spaced waterings) and look fresh and spiffy.
But there is one mystery shared by both my old roses and the asperas. How can something so compact and meatball-like open into a glorious light lacecap? Lacecaps remind me of planetary systems which are made up mostly of empty space. How can a tight rose bud open to so many petals? Nature's origami puts the human kind to shame.