Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds*


Flowers are at their best when they are at their peak. The blooms are at their most beautiful color, the petals are fresh and supple, and, if there is a fragrance, it is at its most robust. However, there is beauty in the evolution of a bloom. From the tight buds reaching up through the foliage to slowly reveal their color to the first flush of color when they first begin to open.


That first burst of color is refreshing because of the newness of all the petals. The blooms exude color and every corner is fresh and lovely.



Some blooms bring forth a clear white when they first open...


...or even a muted white...


Then, slowly, over time the petals change color.


The petals begin a slow change as that first blush of color begins to transform.


The blush of pink deepens to a true pink.



Some bloom in various colors next to one another.



The evolution continues as the white begins to fade to a very light lime green.


And then darkens to reveal a slight blush on the edge of the petals.


The blush begins to fade to beige.


Even as the blooms fade they offer beauty and interest in an almost dried cluster.


Hydrangeas have been my favorite flower/plant for a couple of years. I am mesmerized by their constant charm in all of their evolving stages. I find myself often stopping whatever I am doing and admiring their elegance, delicacy, and grace. I came to love hydrangeas later than many. It was not until I actually began to grow them in my garden a few years ago that I discovered the depth of their allure. Now, they will forever be a favorite as I watch them offer me one of the most exquisite shows in nature.

I am joining Donna at Garden Walk Garden Talk for Word for Wednesday, Evolve. Wander over and see how others have interpreted the word, evolve.

©Michelle A. Potter
* William Shakespeare

77 comments:

  1. How clever of you to keep a photographic diary of one type of plant so you can actually see how they evolve and 'devolve' (is that a word)?

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  2. Love your post on evolution! I finally 'discovered' hydrangeas too, I don't know why it took me so long to take a liking to them, but I'm glad I did. I love your succession of bloom photos, truly shows how the blooms evolve over time.

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  3. hydrangeas, especially the native oakleafs are some of my absolute favorite plants. every single stage is pretty in its on way, as you've shown so nicely here.

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  4. Proves how we can age beautifully. Great interpretation of the topic and shows why we should never cut off faded hydrangea blooms

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  5. Like you I came to hydrangeas later in life as I grew them. I leave them to change over the seasons and have been enthralled with the colors that evolve. Wonderful post for
    'evolve'. Beautiful pictures.

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  6. What a lovely post and great pics. As you said on my blog, how funny we both wrote about hydrangeas at the same time.

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  7. What a lovely post and great pics. As you said on my blog, how funny we both wrote about hydrangeas at the same time.

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  8. I love your take on evolution and was hoping to see images of plants over time. I never have the time or patience to collect these kind of photos but love when others do. It makes such a good story of the plant and I always like to take photos of plants on the decline too. I just rarely get them mid point. Thanks for the study of the hydrangea and for joining.

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  9. I love hydrangeas but the wind killed them here I need to find a really sheltered spot, I love the way the flower head changes and usually stays all winter, lovely set of photos and words Michelle, Frances

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  10. I, too, love the evolution of hydrangea blossoms. That's why I can't ever deadhead mine until after Christmas. My white ones turn a deep russet burgundy. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

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  11. I look forward to the day when my hydrangeas grown into a hedge of blue blossoms. Lovely photos. Jo @ Let's Face the Music

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  12. I am a newcomer to hydrangeas too (other than oakleaf hydrangea) because deer love them and I had deer. Now with my new deer netting, I plan to plant them everywhere. I don't think you can have too many.

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  13. My favorite form of evolution. I am finally in a region that I might be able to grow hydrangeas. I look forward to seeing the evolving colors firsthand.

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  14. Beautiful photos! I miss my hydrangeas--had to leave them behind when we moved.

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  15. I love plants that "die" gracefully, and hydrangeas are one of the best for that. Lovely photos.

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  16. It doesn't matter to me what color hydrangeas are, I love them. I agree that they are beautiful even when crisp and beige. Lovely photos.

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  17. I really love the evolution of your Hydrangeas!

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  18. Beautifully presented!
    Can't imagine a garden without hydrangeas..

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  19. I love Hydrangeas, but honestly I think they're most interesting near the end, with all the speckled variegated colors. Nice collection of photos for the "evolve" theme.

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  20. We were made to believe since years passed, that hydrangeas are pH plants, meaning they change colors depending on the acidity of the soil. Have you tried doing these in your garden? If i am an active gardener i would like to compare a pot with acid soil, say pH4, with a pot with pH8 or 9. With that i expect plants with pink and blue, respectively. Then I would line them along a path or group them alternately, as if they are different cultivars!

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  21. I like hydrangeas too. You are right with the evolution part. Love how the colours evolves over time.

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  22. Michelle, I enjoyed reading your post. As you, I also started to appreciate hydrangeas only when I started to grow them myself.

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  23. Lovely post. I love hydrangeas also and wish I had more. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on the rain lilies (which often are blooming while the hydrangeas are still in full flower).

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  24. What a wonderful evolution posting. I love hydrangea blooms in any stage and think they look lovely. Wonderful pictures.

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  25. takes the word to the zenth degree. I must get to know hydrangeas better.

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  26. I've only seen one of these posts so far. I love your hydrangeas, and interpretation of the theme.

    Thanks for your comment on my GBBD post.

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  27. @elaine rickett Elaine, it was not intentional. I wish I could say I planned it that way, but I did not. I think I am so enthralled with hydrangeas that I had plenty from which to choose.

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  28. @Karen Thanks, Karen. I don't know why it took me so long either, but I am glad I finally discovered them.

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  29. @Daricia I love the oakleafs as well, but I am partial to the limelight. Thanks for visiting.

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  30. @PatioPatch I agree...we can age beautifully...take it from hydrangeas.

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  31. @Donna Thanks, Donna. I do snip a few for a vase now and then, but I always leave some to watch the transformation.

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  32. @hurtlingtowards60 I like anything about hydrangeas. Thanks, Ronnie, for stopping by.

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  33. @gardenwalkgardentalk.com I wish I could say I planned it that way, but I was lucky enough to have taken lots of photos of hydrangeas.

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  34. @Island Threads Frances, that is sad about your hydrangeas. I hope next year brings kinder weather.

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  35. @Cindy Garber Iverson It is one of the few blooms that offers such a lovely transformation. I am also glad there are others who feel the same way.

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  36. @Jo @ Let's Face the Music I, too, hope for that day when they all grow together, and I have a hedge of them.

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  37. @Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens I agree, I have been planting some every year. It is good you have the deer netting.

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  38. @Tufa Girl That will be great! They are such a joy to watch.

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  39. @learning table Thanks. I hope you are able to enjoy hydrangeas again.

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  40. @Janet/Plantaliscious Aren't they? They are perfect for that. Thanks, Janet.

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  41. @HolleyGarden I don't care what color they are either, but I am partial to the Limelights because they age so well.

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  42. @dona Thanks, Dona. Their evolution brings me a smile.

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  43. @Alice Joyce Me either, Alice Joyce. I am glad I added them to my garden.

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  44. @PlantPostings They are so interesting at that stage. I find it fascinating.

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  45. @Andrea They do respond to lime and sulphur applications. I usually want various colors, so I add both.

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  46. @Autumn Belle Thanks, Autumn Belle. The colors are always amazing.

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  47. The evolution of blooms is fascinating to behold! The oak leaf hydrangea in my garden is hanging on. Planted in the spring, it has really not thrived this season but I'm hopeful the cooler temps of fall/winter will give it the chance it needs to establish. Their flowers photograph so beautifully ;)

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  48. @Tatyana@MySecretGarden Thanks, Tatyana. They are such a welcome addition to the garden. I am glad I discovered them.

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  49. @Diana Thanks, Diana. I am inspired to get some rain lilies.

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  50. @Lona Thanks, Lona. I am glad I have their beauty documented.

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  51. @catharine Howard Thanks, Catherine. They are worth the investigation...and very easy care...

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  52. @Corner Gardener Sue Thanks, Sue. Evolve was a challenge for me, but I am glad I found a way to demonstrate it and pay homage to my beloved hydrangeas.

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  53. @Cat The oak leaf hydrangea is drought tolerant, but I don't think to the extent to which your area has suffered. I am glad that you may get some enjoyment from it now that there has been some rain.

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  54. Every year is different. Some of my hydrangeas decided to take the summer off and not bloom after an unusually cold winter. They've put on nice growth and next year will be better.

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  55. Hydrangeas are the perfect plant to show evolution in the garden. I too didn't realize quite how wonderful they were in their different stages until I planted some of my own. You've captured their allure perfectly.

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  56. I remember not liking hydrangeas when I was younger. Now I have fallen in love with them and can't figure out why in the world I didn't like them! The blooms are so beautiful, and it is great to see them evolve throughout the summer, each phase adding a different type of beauty.

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  57. I love the lime lights too... Such a fabulous shade plant.

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  58. @Nell Jean I am sure you must have missed those blooms. You are so positive to look forward to next year's display.

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  59. @Marguerite Thanks, Marguerite! They seem to offer so much for a simple shrub...and I am glad.

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  60. @Indie I remember liking them but just as I liked many flowers. I am glad I discovered their beauty to fully appreciate all they have to offer.

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  61. @Dirty girl gardening I love those big, bold blooms of the Limelight that offer so many shades during the season.

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  62. Great post! You have touched on one of my favourite garden chameleons in this evolution post. The constant changes in a hydrangea flower always fascinate me and I am forever grabbing my camera to take a snapshot of the latest metamorphosis.

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  63. aloha,

    what a beautiful collection, i love hydrangeas also, but having full sun here makes it impossible.

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  64. Your lovely photos inspire me to grow more hydrangeas next year!
    Gina

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  65. What beautiful photos!! I am really going to miss my hydrangeas next year. I need to replace them with something that can take more sun and don't have a spot to transplant them to. I'll just have to enjoy yours!

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  66. Your hydrangea photos are wonderful. There is a man on nantucket who specializes in JUST hydrangeas - open by appointment - and I have been bringing home a new hydrangea each year - they are endlessly fascinating, I agree!

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  67. What a beautiful interpretation of the word evolve! I'm a hydrangea lover, too, though I don't have as many of them as I would like. They're the perfect example of flowers that age gracefully and beautifully.

    It's ironic that you chose this quote--I was substitute teaching in my old classroom last week and teaching sonnets, including this one. This is the perfect way to apply Shakespeare's thoughts to the garden!

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  68. Michelle, These hydrangeas are beautiful in all their permutations. I especially love the 1st, 3rd and 4th images. -Jean

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  69. @Jennifer@threedogsinagarden They are, indeed, chameleons--full of beauty and transformation. I, too, am deeply fascinated by this offering.

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  70. @noel Aloha, Noel. In your neck of the woods, I am sure there are some transformational wonders that offer a similar show.

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  71. @Gina I, too, want to keep adding them to the garden. Someday it will be nice to look out and view a sea of hydrangea blossoms.

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  72. @Casa Mariposa Thanks, Casa. The Limelight takes more sun that some of the other varieties. I will miss mine over the winter.

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  73. @jayneonweedstreet Thanks, Jayne. That sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I bet he produces some real winners.

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  74. @Rose Thanks, Rose, for your kind comments. Over time I have really grown to appreciate all the stages of beauty in hydrangeas. They even keep giving in dried arrangements. That is so ironic that we were immersed in the same sonnet. Shakespeare gets around...

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  75. @jeansgarden Thanks, Jean. I am glad I thought to document each stage. I am often out in the garden agape at their stunning beauty, so I am not always thinking of the camera.

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'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

Thank you for visiting The Sage Butterfly blog. I enjoy reading your charming reflections very much. Have a great day!

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