Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Hydrangea Summer



Has it been hot where you are? About the only thing that seems to love the cool rainy spring we had here in Brooklyn, New York, and now the humid heat, is the hydrangea bush growing in front of my house.  It has grown to epic proportions this summer!

Passersby stop and ask me what I do to get so many flowers. I wish I knew!


I made many bouquets from the flowers the past couple of months. I've even told my neighbors to help themselves to flowers if they want to make bouquets, as this bush keeps on blooming!



The flowers seem to be changing color from purple to blue as the summer progresses.This is puzzling to me, as every summer before the flowers were....



.....this shade of pink! The photo above was taken last year.



It certainly has been a hydrangea summer here this year, and I'm loving it!

How are your flowers growing this summer?



July 16th would have been my Mother's 90th birthday.
Happy birthday in heaven, Mom!  We all miss you dearly. 
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
  And be gracious to you,
And until we meet again,
May the Lord hold you in the palm of His hand.

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68 comments:

Barbara said...

Always loved the traditional Gaelic blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow, you've got the hydrangea that keeps on giving Pat. It's odd how the color has changed this year. The color has to do with the pH of the soil, and the more acidic, the more blue they become. You can help achieve this by adding aluminum sulfate (available at garden stores) to those you wish to become bluer. Coffee grounds also help. To get them pinker (harder to achieve), add lime. I love it when I see both shades of blue and pink and sometimes purple on one plant. Sometimes, they change color all on their own if they've been transplanted but it doesn't seem to be the case with yours. I have several varieties - pink ones, blue ones, white ones and even a couple of green ones called "Limelight." They are heavy drinkers though, and I'm constantly watering in this heat. But that's not surprising. The word "hydra" means water in Greek.
I know you must miss your mom a lot Pat, and I hope it gives you some comfort knowing she's finally with your dad.

Barbara F. said...

Your hydrangea is gorgeous, and many people want the lavender blue color flowers. Something changed in your soil, more acidic, less acidic, never know for sure. Love your angels. 7/16 is also Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. I am sure Our Lady is taking care of all our Moms in Heaven. xo

Pondside said...

This year I'll have blossoms on my hydrangea for the first time - I can't wait to see what they're like. Yours are gorgeous, and so full. There's no doubt that your mum is smiling on you and your good wishes for her special birthday.

Carol said...

Gorgeous blooms, Pat. I love the purple. Mine are blue, pretty, but I'd prefer the pinks and purples. And it's back to being sticky hot again :(
Your mom looks lovely, may she rest in peace.

podso said...

the 16th is the day my dad left this earth for a better place. These special anniversaries make us pause and remember with joy. Your hydrangeas have lasted months? That's amazing to me. Our month of them seemed generous. I've heard the color has to do with acidity of the soil.

Riet said...

Your hydrangea is gorgeous. It is the same in our country and somebody told me that it is because of the cold wet spring and summer so far. And there indeed are a lot of blue around here too. Funny isn't it, countries so far away and we all have the same flowers.
Have a nice week Pat
Love the poem for your mother. So sweet.

Beth said...

That's one of the most GLORIOUS hydrangeas I have ever seen, Pat! Beautiful! Love the color mix and the abundance of flowers. Lucky you!
xo Beth

Happy@Home said...

Your hydrangea is gorgeous and I'm sure has made you very popular with your neighbors. They are one of my favorite flowers and so easy to make beautiful bouquets with.
I don't think we ever stop missing our moms once they are in heaven, but I'm hoping memories of the good times you spent together will bring you comfort today.
Hugs.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

What a sweet tribute to your Mom... My Mom was 91 when she died in 1991.... I still miss her.

Beautiful Hydrangeas.... I can't believe that they were pink last summer and blue/purple this year.... Interesting..

Hugs,
Betsy

Pamela Gordon said...

Wow, your hydrangea is amazing. So beautiful! Linda's comment above was very helpful. Maybe your soil changed over the winter?! :) Thinking of you as you remember your Mom. Blessings, Pamela

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Is that the Endless Summer variety? It's stunning! The more you snip them the more you encourage them to grow! That is one huge producer you've got there!

We just bought a Limelight hydrangea for the front of our cottage! In the back we have Little Lamb, and on the side of the house we have Pinky Winky. They just scream summer to me!

Love your Gaelic birthday blessing to your mom. I'm sure she's having a grande party in heaven too! xo

The Magical Christmas Wreath Company said...

Fabulous, fabulous Hydrangea. I wish our were in bloom like this I'd be able to cut them and have them all over the house.
Paul

bohemiannie! art said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom! My mom's BD is today and I'm sure she's celebrating in heaven! Your hydrangeas are fabulous. I think they change color because of the soil content. These pictures make me miss Virginia!!!

Snap said...

I know you miss your Mom ... beautiful lady. Your hydrangeas are amazing! Maybe they just like hot weather??!! (I'm glad "something" does!!)

Old Kitty said...

Awwww Pat! Your mum is beautiful. She is heaven's most beautiful angel. Happy birthday to her.

Oh my your hydrangea blooms are just gorgeous! Love these pics and the vividness of their colours! It is a happy happy happy plant and it's saying thank you for looking after me!!

Oh I hope the heat is easing off a little?

Take care
x

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Your hydrangea are amazing Pat...ours are totally burned and dried from the heat. I noticed that most of the hydrangea at the shore have not fared well this year. The color of the blooms will change with the amount of acidity in the soil. If you have added a different plant food, mulch, or even if the water has more iron in it the color can change. They really are a lovely shade of lavender!
♥, Susan

Sara said...

Hydrangeas are so beautiful...those colors are stunning and they seem so grand and glorious and huge. You've given me an idea....I wonder how a hydrangea would fare in a certain corner of my garden...I'll give it a try.

ellen b. said...

What a lovely full bush you have. So pretty. My roofers gave my hydrangea a hard time leaving a big whole in the middle of it. Hopefully it will repair itself next spring. Blessings and comfort to you as you remember your mom...

Sarah said...

Pat, your hydrangea bush is amazing. I'm always in awe of this plant when I see it blooming on the bush. They can be huge and so full of these gorgeous blooms. Just one bloom here in the grocery flower section can be $5- $9. Sometimes they run a special of 3 stems for $10 or $12. I like to keep hydrangea blooms in the house during the summer months because they are long lasting. It would be wonderful to have one of these bushes right outside my door! ;-)

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Flea Market Makeovers said...

Your hydrangeas are beautiful! Send some my way :-).

I heard they change colors depending on the acid in the soil.

Your mom was a beautiful woman. I miss my mom too.
Hugs,
Penny

Betsy Brock said...

What a sweet photo of your mom. I know you miss her!

Your hydrangeas are lovely and so healthy!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Your hydrangea is a beautiful color Pat! Love that first pic-enjoy:@)

eileeninmd said...

Pat, your hydrangea images are just gorgeous. I love the purple colored blooms. Very pretty. Lovely photos and mosaic. Hope you have a lovely week ahead.

Buttercup said...

Flowers are beautiful. The neighbors must be enjoying them so much. July 16th is my cousin Angela's birthday. She will be eleven tomorrow. Usually we have a family celebration together, but this year the travel won't work for me. I know our mothers are looking out for us.

Michelle said...

Happy Birthday to you mother. I know you must miss her terrible. Your hydrangeas are beautiful and seems unusual that they have been blooming this long.

Chatty Crone said...

Ah - your mom was beautiful - and happy birthday. Your flowers are just beautiful! Gorgeous color! sandie

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

My wife's hydrangeas here in Tulsa go crazy in the heat and also change color.

Sorry about your Mother, I love the blessing.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

The birthdays of our loved ones who are in Heaven are always a little sad. Your mother was such a pretty woman.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful flowers, love its color.

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Stunning hydrangeas! Your garden is amazing. I always remember dad's birthday more than his death's date..he would have been 90 in 2010 and I remembered him so much that day. Your mother was pretty and looked like a wonderful lady too. Thanks for your lovely visit, have a great week.
FABBY

Proud Italian Cook said...

I would die to have that beautiful bush, I love the blue. I wish I was your neighbor, I'd be out there making my bouquets! Maybe it's a sign from your mom to "keep blooming".

xox

Kris said...

Wow....that hydrangea is gorgeous! I have never had luck with them!!!!!!
Sweet message for Mom!
XO Kris

pam said...

WOW....around my world hydrangeas didn't seem to flower much this year and that was even before the drought hit. Now everything is practically dead. Usually the color change is from adding acidy stuff to your soil. Wonder what in nature makes that happen? Hmmm, well anyway, what a beauty to have at your own home.

What a gift to have sweet memories of a mother! Not all can say that. What a beautiful woman!

Micupoftea~ said...

Our Hydrangeas are blooming up a storm...some of the 'balls' are 12" across. What a gorgeous shade of lilac and purple yours are. Ours are deep pink. I know the acidity changes the colors! Have a great week ahead,
Shawn
My MIL's birthday recently passed..I always think of her!

Jill Harrison said...

glorious colour - I wish I had some blue or purple on my hydrangeas - mine are all pink. I know it is something to do with the acidity of the soil. They certainly do make a wonderful splash of colour in summer. Have a wonderful week. LInking up to you through Mosaic Monday.

~ Liz ~ said...

Don't you just love it when flowers decide they want to live the good life and just flourish despite doing anything special to aid them? We don't grow hydrangeas here, so I really enjoy seeing them. I have some gerber daisies that grow well like that, though. All others I plant end up keeling over, but this one pot of them just keeps on flowering! Thanks for coming by and reminiscing with me about the old commercial jingles. That's funny, the one you remember I don't remember at all. I cracked up at you reciting it. Shows the power of the jingle that you too still remember all the words. I'm your newest follower. Hope you'll come back by for another visit soon!
Liz

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a lovely tribute to your mother Pat. I know you must miss her terribly.

Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers, but I sure don't have a green thumb when it comes to growing them. Very frustrating to me how some bushes do so well and others don't. I would be thrilled if I had your bushes.
Sam

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

I am so jealous of that gorgeous hydrangea. Valerie

Vee said...

Oh my! That hydrangea is splendid! Really? You did nothing to amend the soil to get those beautiful blue flowers? Hmmm..people work hard to get that color.

The birthdays, holidays, anniversaries can be a challenge, yet they are also sweet reminders. And, once our loved ones have gone on, we can remember the good things, only the good things. Sending a little hug today...

Hanne Bente said...

Beautiful collage / images you show.
Wishing you a good day :)
Hanne Bente

Nellie said...

Gorgeous hydrangea! Our flowers are surviving, but that's about all. Hopefully the recent rains and milder temperatures (at least out of three digits) will bring about some livelier action.

Moving tribute to your mother.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I love hydrangeas! Mine are finally putting on a lovely show.

It looks like you found the perfect spot for yours to thrive. I'm thinking it is getting plenty of water, or it wouldn't be so happy there.

Beautiful pic's...would make great notecard photos.

anitamombanita said...

I love hydrangeas. My daughter used to call them the pompom flowers which always made me laugh.

Thanks for your visit. You asked about my photos being high def. They were all shot with my iPhone, which has an HDR feature (high dynamic range) but I rarely if ever use it, because it requires a double exposure and the HDR image is almost always out of focus with shadowing from trying to put the two images together.

I do sometimes use an app called Snapseed, developed by NikSoftware (actually Nikon) which I love. It has some great effects that can be done in photoshop but with a lot more work. I'm kind of a "purist", so if I'm shooting with my big camera, any work I do is in Photoshop, but with the iPhone I "allow" myself the liberty of playing around more since the image quality (although great by comparison to what point and shoots used to be) is never as good as with the Nikon.

Have a wonderful day!

SmilingSally said...

Oh Pat, I sure wish that I was your neighbor so that I could take you up on your offer. My home would be filled with those beautiful blooms!

My father used to grow hydrangeas, and I remember that the color blue comes from lack of or increase of acid in the soil.

Thanks for sharing these beautiful blues.

Happy Blue Monday!

Beverly said...

Ah, Pat. Happy birthday to your mother in heaven.♥ She was a July girl, too. Just like me and my mother.

Girl, that is one gorgeous hydrangea. Now I will know how to find you. Your house is the one with that stunning bloomer out front.

cassandrasminicorner said...

Lovely flowers, great shots!

Visiting for Blue Monday- hope you can stop by..

http://www.harpsterschronicle.com/2012/07/beach-ball.html

chubskulit said...

I love your hydrangeas! Visiting from Blue Monday.

Please come and see my BLUES at Pleasurable Hobbies blog. Have a great week ahead.

Vicki Valenta said...

Your hydrangea is gorgeous! My grandmother had hydrangea growing on both sides of her back steps. She tossed her coffee grounds on one side which meant one was pink and the other was blue.

~Kc Waddell said...

Your hydrangea are beautiful! While I'm in southern California we have had a very mild summer and this is the first in 7 years that my hydrangea has done so well! But for me -- it is the Summer of the Lilies! That's whats growing here!

edenhills said...

Beautiful, beautiful flowers! I've heard that the soil nutrients help determine the color of the flowers. I'm not sure if that is accurate, but it does make sense.

Gary said...

That change in colour is strange!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs said...

Happy birthday to your dear mother.

I am so jealous of your hydrangeas. I *love* hydrangeas and can't get them to grow for anything. But then again, I can't even get my zucchini to grow, so that's telling you something (and probably far more than I should admit).

Lovely stuff, Pat! Thank you so, so much for linking to the GRAND Social! It's an honor to have you join us!

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat,


Your hydrangea is stunning. Sometimes they bloom in a big way. My sister's are doing the same thing. Your photos are lovely as well.

We never get over missing our moms do we? It has been 25 years and I still miss my mom so much. My mom would be in her 90's as well.

Happy wonderful hydrangeas,
Hugs, Jenne

Sheila said...

What a beautiful version of a traditional blessing and an equally beautiful photo of your mother. I love hydrangeas and hope someday they will grow in my garden.

Lavender Cottage said...

Hot here as well but a good hydrangea summer too. I love the first photo and the change in colour will be due to the acidity of your soil - something must have changed it.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Hydrangeas are my favorite flowers. I love the variety of colors and the big beautiful blooms. I know you'll always miss your beautiful mother. I sure miss my Dad. Sweet hugs!

annie said...

Gorgeous Pat!
My mothers birthday also just past on July 8.
Hugs

GailO said...

Even my husband has noticed how much bluer the hydrangas seem this year...and that is saying a lot LOL!
Last week he called me from two towns away to tell me I had to come and drive down a certain road just to look at the flowers...they were spectacular indeed and I got lunch out of it too:)

Indrani said...

Lovely hydrangeas. I am never lucky growing them. I too miss my mom!

diane b said...

That is a beautiful bush. So many blooms. As others have said it is something to do with the acidity of the soil, which dictates blue or pink.
It is not very hot here, since it is winter. I was cold on Sunday when I climbed the Sydney harbour Bridge.

Tracy said...

WOW...your hydrangeas are DAZZLING, Pat! Gorgeous...and so big! We're thinking of getting a new hydrangea for the garden since we're having to replant a flower bed after losing some plants/flowers to winter. It's been a dull, rainy summer here. Oftentimes feeling like autumn...We're waiting for real summer to kick in! Happy Week ((HUGS))

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

That is one of my all time favorite scriptures, Pat. Amen. Your mom lives on in your heart...

LOVE your hydrangeas! WOW! So very beautiful. The acidity of the soil affects the colors... like litmus paper I think. blessings ~ tanna
ps thank you. :)

GrandmaK said...

Your hydrangeas are indeed lovely. It has been terribly in IN but here in Billings last night where we are visiting it rained and is cool. My flowers are doing well mostly because Ron tends them diligently! Have a wonderful day! Cathy

Jill Harrison said...

ps - thanks for stopping by my blog. If you link back you will see I have added a comment and a link about damper!
cheers!

Houseelf said...

Your soil could be changing its acidity. You get pink blooms in chalky alkaline soils. The blue blooms come when you have a more acidic soil or add ericacious compost. I love hydrangeas. You have a real beauty there.

Hugs Pat- anniversaries are hard for those of us left behind.

Cindy said...

Your bush is gorgeous! I love them! I have two of them, but they are still very small. I don't know how they are faring with me gone all summer so far. I go home in two days, then we are heading out for three days, just hubby and I.
Your photos of lovely of the hydrangeas, I wonder why they are purple instead of pink!
Have a wonderful week!
Hugs, Cindy

Loretta a/k/a Mrs. Pom said...

It has been a bountiful season for the hydrangeas. We have lace cap bushes that are easily 9 feet across. And the oak hydrangeas! They took over the front bed. I think I may have elephants living under them.