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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Hydrangeas - Favorite Shade of Blue

Monday, July 18, 2016

Writing can sometimes be difficult because you put off writing something you do not really want to write. The flowers are cut and arranged, the photos are all ready, and there are some truly memorable ones, but the words will not come. Because once the words are written, a finality occurs with no going back.

Hydrangeas - Favorite Shade of Blue 

Hydrangeas come in several shades of blue, purple, white, and magenta with some of those colors all occurring on the same plant at the same time. Sometimes multiple colors occur even on the same gigantic blossom due to the minerals in the soil. 

Of all those beautiful shades of possible blues, my favorite is this pale blue. What is so hard about declaring which hydrangea color is my favorite? 

Deciding which blue is my favorite is not the issue. No, it is easy for me to know that this delicate pale blue that begins as a soft white petal with a blue center is my favorite shade of blue hydrangea. 

The whole row of plants behind the garage is loaded with these beautiful blue blossoms. 

Blue and white are the perfect pairing of words. Blue and white... an iconic color combination that transcends fads and is always a fresh look. Yes, it is easy to know pale blue is my favorite hydrangea color. 

Blue hydrangeas are almost synonymous with the phrase country gardens, and hydrangeas lead the list of plants to celebrate summer in this recent issue of Country Gardens. Southern gardens of all shapes and sizes include hydrangeas. 

Even the most modest of houses with no other flowers often have one or two hydrangea plants nestled against a weathered, chipping paint clapboard wall. Truly country gardens are where plants probably came as cuttings from a neighbor or family member, not from a nursery. 

In the South, gardeners know how to bury a low hanging hydrangea stem under a handful of dirt to root another plant to pass along to neighbors, friends, and family members. Pass along plants... from one generation to the next. 

From an old homestead to a new house across town or across the country... 

Blossoms that are cherished reminders of dear friends and dear family grace dining tables, bedside nightstands, and porch wicker tables. Blossoms so cherished that ones with broken stems are placed in low bowls, not discarded. 

Come sit a while on the front porch and talk about how your country flower garden is growing. Has your garden had enough rain this month? How are your hydrangeas doing that you started from low hanging stems? Do you have pale blue ones this year or did you forget to add aluminum sulfate to them? 

So, why is it so hard to write about the beloved favorite shade of blue hydrangeas I have known all my life? To write down the memories of lush blooming plants that yielded ARMLOADS of blue hydrangeas? 

These are the last bouquets of hydrangeas from my mother's yard... 

Cut the evening before the day of the closing on the sale of her house... 

The finality of the end of Mother's garden...

Now, we can only work to nurture the pass along plants we brought from her yard in Alabama to our yard in Texas. Will there be pale blue ones? 

Remember to cast your VOTE for your favorite project in the 
Sweet Tea Challenge. 
July 14-21, 2016 
to see all twelve projects and to vote for your favorite. 

The winner will be announced on Saturday, July 23 on