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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Pale blue hydrangeas in bloom have always signaled the arrival of summer for me. From my mother's home in Alabama, and now in my own French Country inspired home in Texas, hydrangeas bring back nostalgic memories of long summer days. 


French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas
Growing hydrangeas in north Texas is much harder than growing hydrangeas in Alabama. Maybe that is one reason the beautiful pale blue flowers bring so much joy. 



F R E N C H   C O U N T R Y 

P A L E   B L U E   H Y D R A N G E A S





French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas
Here, in mid-July, the first round of blooms are fading, but this Nantucket Blue® hydrangea should re-bloom during the summer. Nantucket Blue® plants bloom on both old and new growth making the growing season last longer. 




French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas
The first buds appeared in April and a small celebration occurred. The hydrangeas are my favorite shade of pale blue this summer! I bought the Nantucket Blue® hydrangea plants in full bloom two summers ago, and the flowers were a beautiful blue. 




French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas
However, we did not add enough aluminum sulfate the second year for the blooms to remain blue, and the blooms were pink. 

Yes, a profusion of beautiful pink blooms. The plants thrived the first year and came back bigger and full of more blooms the second summer. 




French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas
When the first bloom appeared early this spring, even before the blue-tinged blossom in a previous photo, I was excited for two reasons.

The plants survived the historic deep freezing weather in February. 

The blooms were a beautiful blue once again. Enough aluminum sulfate was applied uniformly and often enough in the winter and early spring for blue blooms. 

The little blue bloom was loved despite the fact it grew directly from the base of a stem, hidden underneath the leaves. I had to bend down and peek beneath the foliage moved aside by my hand to see the beautiful blue blooms. 




French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas
Each succeeding flower bud was exciting to see. Promises of more flowers, the buds were signs of beautiful blue hydrangeas to come. Every bloom is celebrated when there are only a few. 




French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas
Nantucket Blue® hydrangeas are rated cold hardy to -20° to -30° (Fahrenheit) in the ground, but my four hydrangeas are planted in pots on the porch and open deck. We brought them inside to the kitchen sunspace during the prolonged freezing weather in February. 




French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas
Following the unusually cold winter, we had unusually large amounts of rain in May. This is the prettiest of my original four hydrangea plants. Not only a survivor, the plant is doing well. 

Unfortunately, the other three plants are not doing as well. 

One plant budded out leaves, but all the small emerging leaves were stripped during a hail storm. The plant did not recover. 

Two other plants survived the cold winter and rainy spring, but are struggling. They were thriving just like the one beautiful plant until the drowning rains in May. They each have leaves and a small number of blooms. And, the blooms are beautiful blue. These two plants are being carefully nurtured in a sheltered area with hopes of a full recovery.  




French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas
Yes, growing hydrangeas in Texas is much harder than growing hydrangeas in Alabama, or Nantucket, where blue hydrangea plants grow in long borders, covered in flowers. 

Nonetheless, pale blue hydrangeas, in French Country ceramic pots, proclaim, "Summer," in Texas, too. They also bring memories of flower gardens cultivated by my mother and grandmother and bring memories of long, seemingly endless carefree summer days of long ago.    

5 comments:

  1. Beautiful!! How wonderful that you were able to keep your hydrangeas over the winter. Let's hope the others recover.

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  2. They are beautiful! We're replacing hydrangeas from the tornado damage, and we'll be planting endless summer blue ones, and the vanilla strawberry white ones tinged with a little pink. I posted about them today! I'm obsessed with them.

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  3. They are absolutely gorgeous.

    If you mix water in with spent coffee grounds or tea leaves and make a "tea" for the base of your hydrangeas they love the acid in this stuff and will turn bluer. You may get a stronger deeper shade of blue if you were to "feed" them with flowering plant food.

    But I really like the pale shades - so your decision! So beautiful any way one looks at them!!!!

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  4. The hydrangeas are lovely! You've got to admire their resiliency. I recently moved two of mine from containers to the front garden, hoping they'll continue to do well.

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  5. This is a beautiful pale blue. I love hydrangeas. This year I planted one in a pot and I thought it was a goner in June when we had historic hot temps in the 100s and strong winds which stripped the plant off moisture. In 24 hrs it was completely crunchy. I set it aside to throw it away but it was under a chair. Well, all that shade plus the rain that finally arrived, and the hydrangea is growing again! Fingers crossed.

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