Friday, April 25, 2014

Hello, Hydrangeas

^ Hello, hydrangeas! You're awful cute. 

Yesterday, as I was running into Trader Joe's to buy more chia seeds, I was arrested.

Well. Technically, my eyeballs were arrested. But they were not put in handcuffs by an officer of the law, and read their rights.

Instead, they caught sight of these extravagantly frilly powder puff blossoms. Immediately, an order was sent to bring my feet to a screeching halt. Simultaeously, my right hand was commanded to scramble around in my bag until out popped my camera, ready for action.

And thus this photo shoot was born.

^ When I was growing up, hydrangeas were always blue. But I eventually learned that the color of the blossoms is affected by the amount of acid in the soil. 

Hydrangea blooms - for that's what these are called - have become quite the rage lately and I couldn't be more pleased. They've been a part of my life for a long, long time, and I'm thrilled to see this modest backyard bush make it to the big times.

But honestly, I find it a bit jarring to see them in April flowerstands.

^ The charm of the hydrangea lies in its sweetly rumpled petals. Rather than the stiff, formal arrangement of the typical rose, or even the daisy or lily, a hydrangea flower is a easygoing fellow.

Because the moment that the images of these beauties hit my temporal lobes, I was swept back through the decades to my grandmother's backyard. A fine gardener in all respects, my grandma had a special way with the hydrangea. In late summer, her hedge of these specimens, which ran along the north fence, exploded into luxuriant bloom. The hot smell of dry grass, the hum of August cicadas, the grouchy feeling my little self got from playing too hard in the sun - all these memories come back to me in a symphony of Michigan summers, and the oversize blue blossoms are an integral part of the tune.

^ None of her hydrangeas make an appearance in this photo, but here I am, happily playing with a mound of sand, in the far reaches of Grandma's back yard. 

So, go right ahead, trendy flower shops and decorating blogs, make a year-round hero out of the happy hydrangea. But in my mind and in my heart, those big puff-balls belong to the dog days of summer, just like the ones I spent in my grandmother's magical back yard.

* * * * *

Ready for more stories about Michigan, my mitten-shaped home land? 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment...I'd love to hear from you!