A Hydrangea Colourfully Rings The Changes

Hydrangea 17th June opening from green to pink/blue
Hydrangea 17th June

Recently one of my blogging buddies, Laurie Graves, mentioned that she’d be interested to see how a hydrangea might change colour as it aged. I didn’t have the sequence of the flower she admired, but was inspired to share this instead.

A little context first: to get to our favourite pie shop, my sweetheart and I have to pass this hydrangea. You might not notice how floriferous it is from my first shot, because the flowers blend into the foliage by starting off green, then open to dusky shades of pink/purple/blue. Your guess is as good as mine whether the flowers open blue or pink, and how they change as they mature. Each flower seems to have its own trajectory.

Hydrangea 25th June - pink/purple/blue
Hydrangea 25th June

There are so many how-to posts with advice on ‘encouraging’ your hydrangea from pink to blue that I was intrigued by this plant. Not all hydrangeas are able to change from pink to blue, but those that do can be influenced by increasing the soil’s acidity (the more alkaline the soil, the pinker they will be; the more acid, the bluer).

Either this hydrangea hasn’t read the posts or it has a secret underground apothecary of lime and aluminium sulphate to variously draw on. Plants are marvellous things, so I don’t rule this out.

Hydrangea 1st July - pink/purple/blue
Hydrangea 1st July

By the 1st of July, the flowers are almost fully open and are on the pinkish side of purple.

If I was more of a scientist than a hungry pie consumer, my pictures of this sequence might be more orderly. Cropped the same. Coming from the same angle. Taken at the same time of day.

We’re told to make sacrifices for art, but there are limits. Letting your pie go cold or, even worse, allowing someone else to nip in before you and snap up the last green Thai pie while you dally over someone else’s hydrangea? Rather you than me.

Hydrangea 10th July - purple/blue flowers
Hydrangea 10th July

Just over a week later, from this perspective the hydrangea is on the blue side of purple.

Hydrangea 21th July - soft pink/lilac flowers
Hydrangea 21th July

Eleven days later, it’s pink/lavender with just a little bit of blue. If you’re thinking this is a rather large number of pies, don’t judge me!

Hydrangea 24th Oct - Russet flowers
Hydrangea 24th Oct

At the time of writing, you might hardly recognise it as the same plant. Autumn has turned it russet, uniformly so. Terrace house gardens don’t have room for many plants, but for me, the various moods and overall magnificence of this hydrangea more than justifies its space.

Shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

59 Replies to “A Hydrangea Colourfully Rings The Changes”

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