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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Fading Pink Hydrangeas | Reminders of Mother's Love

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The first pink hydrangea blooms of summer are fading, but there are more blooms to come on these Nantucket Blue® hydrangeas. Seeing the profusion of hydrangea blooms reminds me of my mother's love for hydrangeas and of her love for me. 

Nantucket Blue hydrangeas bloomed pink on the first blooms this year
Nantucket Blue®, a new hydrangea variety on my shady open deck and porch last year, blooms on new growth as well as on old growth. There is the promise of new buds to sprout as summer continues. 

F A D I N G   P I N K   H Y D R A N G E A S 

r e m i n d e r s   o f   M o t h e r ' s   l o v e  

Fading pink hydrangeas grow in the shade in containers on an open deck
Hydrangeas are staples in Southern gardens and were the stars in my mother's yard in Alabama. She grew them in great numbers in her yard, and instilled a love for them with my sister, cousins, and me. 

Peach colored straw hat and French script pillow on adirondack chair with pink hydrangeas
True to her Southern heritage of hospitality, she gave away large bouquets to anyone who admired them. 

One of my favorite memories of receiving one of Mother's bouquets was when she had a connecting flight at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport on her way to see my sister in California.  

Back when air travel was easier before tight security, travelers could exit and re-enter the secured boarding gate areas with ease. Since her layover between flights was at least for a couple of hours, we made plans for me to meet her at the airport for a visit together. 

Peach straw hat and French script pillow invite resting while looking at pink hydrangeas on the deck
I was happy to see her . . . and a surprise large bouquet of blue hydrangeas she brought to me. She carried the flowers from home in a large horizontal paper shopping bag with the flowers peeking over the bag's edges. 

Fading pink hydrangeas grow well in filtered shade on the open deck
She cut the flowers last thing before leaving for the airport and carefully wrapped the cut ends individually with wet paper towels to keep them fresh as possible. She placed plastic wrap inside the bag to keep the water from leaking out. 

Under today's stringent 'no liquid' rules beyond the security screening machines at airports, one would have a hard time transporting fresh-cut garden flowers from home in the same way. 

An open summer deck is perfect for growing pink hydrangeas in large containers
We enjoyed catching up with family news as we sat in the airport lounge. Of course, we also discussed her flower gardens and enjoyed looking at the hydrangeas she brought. 

Mother was also excited about how all the stewardesses on the plane loved her hydrangeas. As word spread about the beautiful hydrangeas, each of the stewardesses came by to see them for herself. 

Large peach pillow with French script adds comfort to outdoor seating near hydrangeas
Time came for Mother to board her connecting flight and for me to make my way home. 

As I walked though the airport, gently swinging the shopping bag of blue hydrangeas by my side, I received many smiles, nods, and admiring looks at the bag of hydrangeas. A few people even made complimentary remarks and stopped to ask about them.  

Pink hydrangeas on an open deck add color for summer
Yes, one of my favorite memories of receiving one of Mother's bouquets of blue hydrangeas was that summer day in the DFW airport. 

Picture perfect moment in time filled with love, happiness, beauty, and peace . . .  

How I have often wished I had photos of our time together that day. I remember the details in my mind so clearly. I was wearing a periwinkle blue sleeveless linen blouse and matching ballerina length skirt that coordinated perfectly with the blue of the hydrangeas. 

Could have been a scene from a movie of my life . . .  slowly walking through an airport, swinging an overflowing bag of blue hydrangeas next to the slight swaying of the blue linen skirt . . .  with a smile on my face as I thought about my mother and her love. 

Nantucket Blue hydrangeas bloom on new growth as well as old growth
The fading pink hydrangeas are reminders of my mother's love of hydrangeas and of her love for her family. And, there is hope for blue hydrangeas from the promise of new buds to sprout this summer. 


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