Friday, May 25, 2012

Am I Blue?

This week my blue hydrangeas bloomed;
I look forward to this every spring.
For years I had no hydrangeas,
but I wanted some, and they had to be blue.
I even bought a vase of soft blue
because I thought my future hydrangea blossoms would look good in it.
Now I have two plants.
One is planted at the corner of my house
next to where the serviceberry tree once stood:

The very first year this hydrangea bloomed,
I cut a luscious blue blossom, put it in a pewter bud vase,
and left it outside on a table for most of the summer.
Much to my surprise, it rooted in the water,
so I planted the tiny little plant 
in front of some chindo viburnum shrubs.
Soon I had two robust hydrangea plants.
I call the "baby" plant Qu'an Yin's hydrangea
after my white and blond pekingese, now passed.
Its blossoms are always much bluer than the ones on the front shrub.
I adore these blue hydrangeas.
This one is from Qu'an Yin's hydrangea:

 How can blue be a sad color when it dresses a blossom
this extravagant and mirthful? 

This one reminds me of dozens of tiny azure butterflies.

If Qu'an Yin's hydrangea is reliably blue,
then its mother plant in the front is a bit of a chameleon.
It can't make up its mind what color it wants to be.
Sometimes it's pink:

Sometimes it's more of a light mauve:

Sometimes it's the lightest of blues and the palest of lavender creams:

Other times, it's all 3 colors:

There is a bit of folklore about the hydrangea.
In an online article for Eden Florist, Heidi Richards Mooney says 
hydrangeas were often used to break spells cast by witches. 

I guess that's possible 
because I do think of the hydrangea as having a bit of magic
 infused in its leaves, blooms, and stems.
I'd always read that hydrangeas couldn't be rooted in water,
but I've done it more than a few times.
Each time, I feel something mystical and enchanting has occurred.
If there is a secret to my success,
it is that the container has to be opaque
so the roots are always kept in the dark.
Then it will root well enough
to one day grow into a bouquet of resplendent blooms.
Now who could be blue about that?

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