Friday, January 30, 2015
Hydrangeas and my grandpa
Hydrangeas is part of me. When I was a kid in Tropical Borneo, I lived with my Grandpa who left China in his 20s. He told us fairy tales the same way as western children read in books. He spoke of the hydrangea flower which is known as the embroidery ball flower. In this fairy tale love story, when a girl comes of age, she would stand in her balcony and throw her embroidered ball to the young men waiting down in the garden. The young man who catches the ball wins her hand. I joked with Grandpa, what if an ugly fat man catches up, Grandpa laughed, he said, "Why do you have to ruin an aged old story?"
Hydrangeas became reality when I came to live in Auckland. There are bushes everywhere. In two houses we stayed. I had the light blue hedges, and I had lots of stories.
A hint to gardeners, I was told if you put tins/can at the base of the plants, the iron rust will make the flowers become a deep colour. I remember reading John Michener's book Hawaii doing that for their pineapple plants.