Hump Day Hydrangeas


Once again the race is on for our front-yard ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas to squeeze out a few glorious blooms before the first hard frost takes them all away. This has been happening more frequently in recent years. Though technically these plants are supposed to bloom on old and new wood (if a plant is “supposed” to do anything), I’ve yet to see any substantial evidence of this. (Partly because I cut down most of the old wood anyway.) As warm and sunny as the season has shone, it’s been a lackluster one as far as hydrangea blooms go. Only the old-fashioned cream-colored variety produced a steady stream of blooms, though the lace-caps in the backyard, hidden by a fountain of Miscanthus, put on a secret show.

As if pre-empting this blog post, however, the plants suddenly developed a host of blooms these last few weeks, ready to burst forth in their soft pink hues (I gave up trying to acidify the soil long ago). It’s going to be a close-call as to whether or not they will expose their full splendor before the cold nights wither everything in sight.

Still, I appreciate the last-ditch effort, and it’s bringing a freshness to the garden at a point when I’d all but given up on such new treats. It will be a poignant final movement in pink.

Perhaps it’s also a well-thought-out plan: at this time of the year, when the sun slants a little lower in the sky the light is brilliant for illuminating and enriching this kind of color. Everything happens for a reason, especially in the garden.

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