Some flowers just seem to have the gift of aging gracefully. They don’t stay eerily frozen time throughout their life span, but as time passes their metamophosis is beautiful in its own way. One example of this may be found in our local hydrangeas, which are still heavy with now-fading blooms.
In many cases the clusters of these showstopping flowers are the size of soccer balls – one family friend for many years lovingly tended his incredible white flowers each August, carefully supporting each massive blossom with stilt-like, delicate bamboo stakes. The local hydrangeas can be found in a huge range of colour, from pure white, to
sky blue, sugary pink, lilac, deep pink and even palest green. When they first emerge their colours are clean and bright, and perfect in a youthful sort of a way. As the blooms fade in the sun and gently age, they become tinged with complementary colours. The white becomes more transparent and ivory – like vellum.
Sky blue petals darken imperfectly to violet, the sweet pink is iced with olive green, and the deep pink clouds over to a fascinating and rich shade of cranberry. I would be hard pressed to find a favorite colour of these gorgeous plants…
However, if I really had to pick, the pale green do offer an unexpectedly lovely surprise, as they slowly, charmingly, become blushed with lilac and apricot.
At Summer’s end the garden feels chaotic, filled with battered blooms that tip at erratic angles. Every day I pop out into the garden to see what plants need to be trimmed back, tied up or hauled out altogether. The hostas are particularly sad, as the glorious leaves that gave structure to the Summer beds are now riddled with holes and slowly disappearing back into the ground. In the midst of all the withering leaves and browning petals it’s such a joy to encounter a flush of hydrangea blossoms, gracefully weathering the change.
Clockwise from clasp: “Lace Lock”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Tears of Shiva”, “Antique Flower”, “Blue Desert”, “Labradorite”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Unique”, “Ruby Rock’, “Pastel Flower”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Inner Glow”, White Petals”, “Dandelion”, “Organic Bubble”, “Unique”.