This is a story which amazes me. Not only for the survival of the plant, but for the consideration and care shown to me by my mother.
Upon my arrival back home from Iraq in 2003, it was agreed upon I would travel to Maine for Christmas. Travel to Maine from Tennessee is pretty much a two day trip, and a difficult trip. It is not a one shot up I95 like when I lived in North Carolina. No, I have to travel all over the place to get to Maine from here. The travel and expense and time makes trips to Maine few and far between, but this trip was to be special. I was retiring from the Army, plus, my younger sister would be in Maine (visiting from Florida) during the same period as me. This was an extra special treat for my mother. It is not usual all four of her daughters are in Maine at the same time (the other two sisters live in Maine).
While visiting that cold and snowy December, I wanted a cutting of a huge hydrangea growing in my grandmother's garden, now my mother's garden. The garden had been neglected for a long time, but the hydrangea still grew. Of course it was dormant at the time.
The year 2003 was a big gardening year for me. I was finally able to really garden. Of course, I had tried to garden before retiring from the Army, but as any working gardener will tell you, the time is just not there to do all you want to do. I like hydrangeas and have always loved the mopheads for their romance and reliability. That fact this hydrangea grew in this garden made it vitally important to me.
I took three cuttings of what I thought looked like good prospects for growing new plants. The cuttings all had buds and were about 3" long. I wrapped them in damp paper towels and placed in my mother's refrigerator. I departed for Tennessee without my cuttings! I never even realized it until my mother told me I had forgotten my cuttings. She was kind enough to take the time to wrap them up in an envelope, and mail them to me in Tennessee. I think I got them around the end of January.
Once I received them I noticed one had rotted and promptly discarded it. The other two were dipped in rooting hormone and stuck in some good soil under fluorescent lights. One cutting survived and actually rooted, the other one petered out and had to be discarded.
This was the year 2004 now. I held that one cutting in the house until the spring of 2005 when I planted it out front in a prominent position. Do you know it bloomed that year? One little bloom, but a bloom nonetheless. None since, until now, 2008-three years later.
You can see the hydrangea is doing well in my garden. Each time I pass it I marvel at its will to live and the fact it came from my mother. Just a little cutting from a dormant plant in the winter; which was mailed to me and bounced all around the country. Not only is it living but blooming SO big and nice...and thriving.
Thanks Mom and know I will always treasure this hydrangea.
in the garden....