Friday, June 15, 2012

Petal Passion

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice'

I am fascinated by all of the plants and flowers in my garden and in other gardens, but each year hydrangeas entertain and awe like few others.



Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice'

The colors and textures surprise me each day. Their transformation from bud to bloom to something short of a dried flower on the vine provides so much interest. I am in awe each time I pass by.

I am joining Carol of May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, Gesine at Seepferd's Garten for the European version, and Glenda of Tootsie Time for Fertilizer Friday. Diana of Elephant's Eye asks for a favorite bloom each month for Dozen for Diana on the third Friday of every month. Hydrangea is my favorite for June.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice'

Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'

Hydrangea paniculata 'Vanilla Strawberry'

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History - Hydrangeas are native to Asia and North and South America. Botanist Gronovius thought the shape of the hydrangea was like a water jug, and so he used 'hydro' (water) and 'angeion' (jug) to create the name, hydrangea, in 1739. The name, Hortensia, was used in 1771 by French botanist, Philibert Commerson. Botanists use, hydrangea, as the official botanical name.
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When hydrangea blooms begin to open, there is a progressive blooming with each petal opening at its own time. Even the unopened and undeveloped part of the bloom is interesting with a subtle suggestion of what is to come.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Endless Summer'

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Amethyst'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nikko Blue'

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Meaning of Hydrangea Flowers - boastfulness and vanity because of the lushness of the bloom. A bouquet of hydrangeas given to a recipient expresses gratitude or heartfelt emotions.
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When blooms are fully open, there is an explosion of color. And as one gets closer, the color is sometimes painted with subtle hues with white accents.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blushing Bride'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Amethyst'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nikko Blue'

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice'

As the blooms stand on the branches over time, they age with such grace and delight. Subtle color changes mark the edge of the petals.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blushing Bride'

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice'

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snow Queen'

As the end of the season nears, hydrangea petals brown and dry on the plant. The colors of the peak have faded into an ecru or mixed chocolate hue. A bloom still exists and blends in with the colors of autumn. The dried and browned bloom remains on the stem through the winter.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

© copyright 2012 Michelle A. Potter

89 comments:

  1. Gorgeous set of photos. I really like all the close-ups since it gives such a different perspective on this lovely flower family. Happy GBBD.
    David/:0)

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    1. Thank you, David. I agree. The macro shots give such a wonderful view of more beauty of the hydrangea.

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  2. Wow you have lots of them! I wonder why that pink one has all the flowers drooping to one side, is that normal or just thirsty!

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    1. That is how some varieties age. The flowers droop over. I think it adds another dimension.

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  3. Michelle your photos always astound me - you are a talented photographer with an amazing eye. I love Hydrangeas too and you've shown them to perfection.

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    1. Thank you, Christine. It is easy to bring out the beauty of hydrangeas.

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  4. You're lucky having a lots of Hydrangeas! My favourite is Limelight, very nice color.

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    1. Limelight is one of my favorites as well.They age so beautifully and bring in the autumn colors so well.

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  5. Uwielbiam hortensje i mam ich sporo w ogródku. Niestety tegoroczna zima im zaszkodziła i nie będą kwitły. Dlatego też z wielką przyjemnością patrzę na Twoje śliczne kolorowe hortensje. Pozdrawiam.
    I love hydrangeas, and I have a lot of them in the garden. Unfortunately, this winter they will not be harmed and were blooming. It is therefore with great pleasure I look at your beautiful colored hydrangeas. Yours.

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    1. I am so glad you are able to enjoy hydrangeas somehow.

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  6. Your collection of hydrangea are so beautiful and I love the close ups of these wonderful blooms! Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thank you, Lee. They have so many colors and aspects which makes them so interesting.

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  7. Flush with flowers. Very nice collection.

    I have two. Lady in Red, which is a huge disapointment and Endless Summer which has struggled from the early spring and lack of supplemental irrigation.

    I am debating on there continued existence due to their moisture requirements. However they are hard not to like! Happy GBBD.

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    1. The paniculata and the oak leaf varieties don't seem to be as water needy. You might want to try them.

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  8. I love this introspection! On a first look, the hydrangea doesn't look as spectacular as it truly is but the detailed pictures you've made, bring up its real beauty.
    Lovely post, Michelle :)

    Hugs

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    1. Thanks, Petro. I think I fell in love with their beauty upon closer examination. And, of course, the seasonal changes add so much interest.

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  9. Beautiful images... The hydrangea has such a 4-season interest/beauty. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. That is what I love about them. I am never bored.

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  10. I have to agree, Hydrangeas are in a class all by themselves! You have represented them beautifully with these images...

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    1. Thank you, Darla. I don't know why I had not learned of their beauty earlier than a few years ago.

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  11. Stunning flower photography--just lovely! I'm a sucker for the blue hydrangeas--I love them all.

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    1. The blue hues are one of my favorites as well, but I have come to really appreciate the limelight with its white, then green, then pink accents.

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  12. Hydrangea macrophylla is just coloring up in my gardens. Your lovely photos show just how stunning these blossoms are up close.

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    1. Thank you, Joene. I just cut some for some flower arrangements this morning.

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  13. Replies
    1. It is delicious...wish I could eat it. :)

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  14. I like hydrangea because they extend garden interest through the seasons. You captured them very well, in all their color and blooming glory.

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    1. That is why I like them so much as well, Donna. It seems that they transform each day.

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  15. I agree hydrangeas, along with sedums and hellebores, age beautifully.

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    1. I, too, like the way sedums and hellebores age. These types of plants are becoming my favorites. A quick flash is lovely, but I prefer the season-to-season interest.

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  16. Obrigado por compartilhar, imagens maravilhosas
    blog muito lindo
    abraços

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment. It is my pleasure to share my garden.

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  17. I like hydrangea because they are so diverse with their shape and color. There is one for everyone. Even my husband has come around and likes the Oakleaf Hydrangea. Your closeups are fab!

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    1. I was not that big a fan of oak leaf hydrangeas until I planted one in my own garden. The magic was clearly obvious!

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  18. You have a number of fabulous hydrangeas! They are so beautiful, and each unique. I really like Nikko blue and Vanilla Strawberry.

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    1. I keep adding more because they are so lovely. Nikko Blue was once my favorite, but now I can't really name one...except I am a bit partial to Limelight.

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  19. Wonderful collection of hydrangeas and so many new ones being developed all the time... makes for an exciting pursuit! Larry

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    1. I agree, Larry. I like having all those choices. :)

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  20. What a fabulous collection you have! It's unfortunate that Hydrangeas don't do well here as I've always wanted to grow one. I've so thoroughly enjoyed your stunning photos today though, that I've now gotten my Hydrangea fix for the year!

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    1. I was never that big a fan of them until I began growing them. I don't know why except that when I began growing them I noticed their subtle and beautiful changes whereas passing by them on the street or in someone's garden I did not. I am so glad you enjoyed the post and got your fix.

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  21. I love hydrangeas, too, and I loved reading all the tidbits of information about them. That picture of Annabelle is wonderful. I love it when they are massed together like that.

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    1. That is a photo from a garden on a historic estate. I like them massed in that way as well.

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  22. Replies
    1. Thank you, Katie. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  23. Yes, they're pretty special. Thanks for all the info, too. Mine are at that transitional stage now--it looks like the blooms will be huge this year. Great post!

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    1. Some of my blooms are very large this year as well...perhaps because they had quite a long while to grow.

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  24. They are all so perfect and flawless...one could write poetry about them :). I am not very lucky with flowers...I only have a few roses an some unnamed little blue flowers...do u have roses too?

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    1. I agree, unikorna. They definitely inspire poetry. I have some roses, but I try to add ones to the garden that are not very needy. :)

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  25. Your Hydrangea are beautiful. One of my favorites. My Quickfire has been blooming since May, early for here. Several others have buds all over them so expect them to be blooming soon also. Lovely pictures!

    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Thanks, Cher. Mine have bloomed earlier than usual, too. We are about three weeks early on everything.

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  26. Hydrangeas are wonderful plants. In my childhood I hated them, but have changed my mind entirely. My Mothlight is now enormous with spectacular bloom - soon. Two years ago I planted the oakleaf hydrangea and Limelight and Pinky Winky. They are coming along in spite of the depredations of the snow plow and DEER! I envy your collection - and your photography talents.

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    1. I never really gave them much attention until I began growing them. And up to last year, I did not find the lacecaps that attractive...but I have changed my mind. I am looking for some lacecaps to add....somewhere.

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  27. Thanks for such a beautiful tribute to one of my favorite plants! They really are plants for all seasons--I always leave mine alone for the winter because the dried flowerheads look so pretty in the snow. When I first began to garden, that is other than sticking a few annuals around every spring, the first plants I bought were 'Endless Summers,' which were a new introduction at the time. I was captivated by those blue blooms, but couldn't figure out the next year why they had turned pink:) Pink, blue, white, or shades in between--I love them all!

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    1. I, too, love the blooms in winter...so delicate and beautiful. I like all the colors of hydrangea. I add sulphur to some to get the blue blooms and leave others alone to see what comes. They are all beautiful.

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  28. Oh, goodness! Those flowers are gorgeous, and the photos are excellent.

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    1. Thank you, Asha Ram. It is easy to photograph something I love.

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  29. Most of the time, I think I've accepted the fact that hydrangeas will never thrive in my extremely well-drained, sandy soil. But right how, I'm having a severe attack of hydrangea envy! Strawberry Vanilla is especially luscious. -Jean

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    1. They are hard to resist. I wonder if you could try them in pots. I don't know how they would fare through winter, however.

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  30. I couldn't let myself look at hydrangeas before we got the deer fence but now I am like a kid in a candy store. Vanilla Strawberry doesn't look like its promo photos. Does the strawberry part darken with age?

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    1. That photo is from the very beginning of the transformation from white. It does darken and spread as time passes.

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  31. There's so much variety in hydrangeas and so many gorgeous ones! I love that Vanilla Strawberry one. I wish I had more shady room for hydrangeas in my little lot - I love the one that I have. I tried to plant another hydrangea in a sunny location, but it didn't last long!

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    1. There seem to be lots and lots of varieties. Sometimes it is hard to choose. Some of the paniculata varieties do well in sun. The Vanilla Strawberry gets full sun for about four to six hours each day...it does fine.

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  32. I enjoy growing hydrangeas as well. I find their lacy flowers such a welcome contrast to some of the bolder flowers growing as well as mixing in well with some of the daintier blooms. An amazing post, as always.

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    1. Thanks, Mary. I like those large heads that are hard to miss...and the changes just take my breath away.

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  33. Replies
    1. Thank you, Mac. I am glad you enjoyed the post.

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  34. Wonderful photographs of hydrangeas through their many stages. They really do provide so much to look at in the garden over an extended period of time.

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    1. Thank you, Marguerite. I am noticing that those blooming plants that offer extended interest are becoming some of my favorites.

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  35. Wow, these are wonderful flowers but your photos capture their character and and are so sensitive and beautiful. You made my day:~)

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it, Catherine. They do seem to have those qualities.

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  36. Oh I totally agree - they are so beautiful and so photogenic 12 months of the year.

    Hydrangeas can struggle here but the one that thrives in my garden is Limelight. I've got my eye on 'Phantom' but I just don't think I have any room for it.

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    1. Limelight is one of my favorites. It ages with so many colors I often find myself staring at it in awe.

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  37. Wonderful post...just loved it. I adore how the flowers change colors as they age, just spectacular!

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    1. That is such a wonderful quality, the color change. It just makes my days.

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  38. Hydrangeas are one of my most favorite flowers! Your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Warm hugs, Esther

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    1. Thank you, Esther. Hydrangeas are so easy to love.

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  39. Hydrangea are one of my favourite subjects for photographs. I think it is the way the flowers catch and hold the light.

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    1. I think you are right, Jennifer. There is so much bloom to catch that light, too.

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  40. Yoour hydrangea collection (and images through the seasons) is spectacular! We have the Nikko Blue and there isn't a bluer blue anywhere else in the garden! We ordered Vanilla Strawberry two years ago and they were out of stock so we never got it. Now I really am disappointed.... it's pretty in the catalog, gorgeous in your photograph! Love reading the history too!

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    1. Nikko Blue is one of my favorites, too. I like some of the pink varieties, but that is such a gorgeous blue.

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  41. You've captured their beauty wonderfully. It would be so nice to have swaths of their flowers in the garden...you're blessed. I'm growing an oakleaf variety here but it was planted last spring during the drought. It is growing, but very slowly. I'm just impressed that it made it through last summer! It has put on a few blooms but nothing as showy and grand as yours :)

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    1. I planted my oakleaf hydrangea just a few years ago, and it has done so well. It took it a while to take hold but once it did, it was fantastic. I am sure yours will do the same.

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  42. You have so many hydrangea!!! They're really beautiful. I had to pull mine since they were frying from reflected heat and definitely miss them. Yours are truly fabulous!

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    1. That is disappointing. I have noticed that some of the paniculata varieties take the heat better.

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  43. Spectacular blooms, I love my hydrangeas but now realise that I need many many many more!

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    1. Me, too. Now, if I can find some room somewhere...

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  44. Your collection of hydrangeas is incredible! I am in awe. I'm so glad you shared photos of each variety. I love hydrangeas but only grow one here because they struggle in our drought summers. Now I know I can come to your blog and enjoy yours when I need a hydrangea fix. :-)

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

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    1. I am glad you can get your fix. And thank you for your kind comment.

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  45. Fantastic collection of blooms! Can't find enough words to describe your photos, always the best!

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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

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