My Southwest Hydrangea

My Southwest Hydrangea

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My Southwest Hydrangea

A couple of summers ago I visited the east coast. While I was admiring the greenness of everything, I also noticed the plethora of day lilies and hydrangeas. They were everywhere, particularly the hydrangeas. The blue puffs of this cluster flower were so big and so blue. With true blue flowers being so rare, this shrub really caught my eye.
I know hydrangeas don’t grow here in Tucson, but there is a flower that reminds me of that beautiful blue – Cape Plumbago. This small shrub puts on a show every summer in my yard with regular water, fertilizer and afternoon shade. The plumbago has a far smaller flower cluster and it’s much rangier than the hydrangea, but if you use your imagination, you too can enjoy the “Southwest Hydrangea.” It’s as close as we’re going to get.6 12 14 005

by Cara Bohardt, Desert Gardener