Monday, September 7, 2015

Memories in a Mophead by Paty Jager

It's said scent can trigger memories. For me it's the sight of a blue or pink hydrangea plant.
Lacecap courtesy of Danita Cahill

Hydrangeas come in two flower types. One is called mophead flowers these are the large round flowerheads that resemble pom-poms or, as the name implies, the head of a mop.  Lacecap flowers have round, flat flowerheads with a center core of subdued flowers that are surrounded by rings of showy flowers. They are considered a shrub rather than a flower.

I had never seen these plants until we visited my grandparents in California. My grandmother loved fuchsias and hydrangeas. She had every color and type of fuchsia behind her house under a shaded portico. She watered and plucked the dead flowers off every day. When we visited we helped with the plucking. And of course there was always a treat of fresh fruit. While my grandmother took care of her flowers, my grandfather harvested fruit from his trees and bushes.We gorged ourselves on apricots, peaches, oranges,  figs, and berries while we visited. And always took home a box of something.

But the hydrangeas with their tiny flowers massed together in the shape of half a volley ball in light blue to
vibrant lavender, and soft pink to deep rose hues, those flowers amazed me. They were tall and bushy. I could always count on a hydrangea bush to hide me when my brothers or cousins played hide and seek. The large, green leaves could be used for fans either while on the bush or ones that had been pruned. Grandma would sometimes use a couple of  hydrangeas in her fresh flower arrangements.

Playing outside at night even though we knew the bushes were there, it would look like someone was peeking over a bush when the moonlight touched the top of a mass of flowers. We'd huddle together, hoping to get in the house before the person caught us. Of course, in the house, we'd tell our tale of seeing someone behind the hydrangea bush. An adult would walk us over to a window to see that it was just the top most flower on the bush. Then they would have a good laugh. Silly us!

Do you have a flower from your childhood that brings sweet memories?
Writing into the Sunset


Linda Lovely said...

We didn't have hydrangeas but I loved the Lilies of the Valley that came up faithfully each spring and told me it wouldn't be long until I could go swimming. Our big flowers were peonies, which we always took to decorate relatives' graves on Memorial Day. They were gorgeous, except for the ants.

Judith Ashley said...

My dad was so proud of his roses. In their last house, he planted staggered double rows to the front door. I've a couple of neighbors that have the area between the street and the sidewalk filled with roses and I always slow down or even pause to enjoy the sight and scents.

I gave up my rose garden because they are a lot of work! and I wasn't invested enough to spend the time keeping them pruned, watered, fertilized, sprayed, etc. I do love fuchsias and geraniums and they seem to like me also!

Paty Jager said...

Linda, Peonies are one of my favorites too! Those I seem to be able to grow. When the peonies bloom in time, my dad puts them on my mom and his parents' graves on Memorial Day. But most of the time they are bloomed out yet. He lives in a colder climate.

Judith, Growing up my grandma that lived with us had a friend who loved to garden. Her yard was filled with every type of rose, form the big red ones to the bushy wild ones. When my grandmother took my younger brother and I with her to visit this friend, we would throw the snowball flowers that had fallen off the trees at each other when grandma and her friend weren't looking. ;)

Fun memories, Ladies!

Paty Jager said...

Forgot to click so it would send me the comments. ;)

Diana McCollum said...

Loved your post, Paty! I can remember playing hide-n-seek and hiding behind flower bushes, don't remember what kind. Sunflower is my favorite. From that tiny seed comes such an gigantic flower head!