After a cool and foggy summer, I assumed my beloved hydrangeas had made it through the season unscathed.
But a rogue heatwave clamped down on the South Coast last week; Monday morning the temperature was 80* in the shade, by mid-afternoon it had climbed to a scorching 107*.
Despite a thorough soaking just the day before, these blooms literally cooked on the stem.
Nothing to do now but cut them back, give them a heavy feeding of cottonseed meal mid- January, and pray for another long, cool spring next year.
However, "A Shropshire Lad" certainly enjoyed the last few days, along with "Flower Girl" and an unamed, heat loving aster.