Our hydrangeas have finally begun to bloom. After last year's dearth of hydrangea bloom, I'd been managing my expectations, but this summer things seem to be back to normal.
All these first group of photos are of one shrub-- the first year it's really bloomed, as far as I can recall. It's a clone (via simple layering) of the big hydrangea growing at/into the corner of our covered patio. That original plant is also flowering, this year, but the blooms are small-- insignificant compared to the flowers on this other one. I'm pretty sure that's due to sunlight; the original is no longer getting enough sun to flower much, but as it's too big to think of moving, we'll keep it for its summer foliage and whatever scanty bloom it can manage. (For now... And I might make some more clones to move to one or two slightly sunnier places...)
Unfortunately, I don't know the identity of this hydrangea. It's one I bought from a local lady who used to sell plants, out in her yard. If it came with a tag, I've long since discarded it.
The flower colors seem to vary somewhat, from year to year, but they always stay more on the pink side than the blue, which confuses me, because (I think) in this area, "adjustable" hydrangeas are usually blue. (My mother's-- just a short walk from here-- are all blue; but Mom says that the ones Granny L. planted-- another short walk away-- are purple.) This year, on this particular shrub, the flowers are a mix of pink, dark/dusty mauve, and outright purple. Maybe it's due to the variety (which is why I wish I knew the variety).
This variegated lacecap hydrangea came from the same source as the other-- the lady who sold plants from her home. It grows maybe ten to twenty feet from the other two (non-lacecap) hydrangeas, and yet when it blooms, it's always blue-- which makes me think that the other hydrangea being pink and purple is a reflection of the variety more than the soil conditions.
This hydrangea doesn't get much sun, either, and I think it might bloom better if it got more. I could try moving it, but maybe I'll just do some more layering, this summer, instead, then try out the new plant in a slightly sunnier location... (Layering is so much easier than digging up, hauling around, and replanting a sizable shrub.)
The last hydrangea in bloom is the tiny little 'Endless Summer' that I planted last year. I originally had it in the semi-shade garden, but after the summer, I decided it wasn't doing well. It needed more sun and more room to stretch, so this spring I moved it to the northern side of the front of the house (during the foundation-shrub overhaul).
So. Just when I think I've settled that the soil is "blue-hydrangea" type, and the pink/purple flowers on the other shrubs are due to some peculiarity/tendencies of a particular (unknown) variety, this hydrangea's behavior confuses me all over again. See, when we bought this hydrangea last year, it was in bloom, and the flowers were decidedly blue. Cool, beautiful powder blue. I planted it (not far from the other hydrangeas), and when it rebloomed, later in the season? Pink. This year's blooms (below)? PINK. What does it all mean?!
This is definitely a color-changeable hydrangea, and it switched from blue to pink within one growing season, which makes me think that our soil (at least in that part of the yard) is set for pink flowers. But then how do we explain the blue lacecap? I just can't figure this one out. Fortunately, hydrangeas are beautiful, whether they're pink, blue, purple, white, or any other color.
We have one more variety of hydrangea planted-- a 'Little Lime' by the front door-- but it's yet to bloom. It may not flower until next year, but when it does, they're supposed to be greenish-cream, turning pink with age.