Kaleidoscopic Colours


I am in Cornwall, where the hydrangea is Queen of Shrubs. No seaside garden is complete without at least one; indeed many are packed with dozens of them, punctuated here and there by windswept cordylines. Love them or hate them, hydrangeas are possessed of some of the most unique flower colourings in the plant world. Which other plant carries blooms in shades of Wedgwood blue, mauve, aqua, magenta and bruised plum all at the same time, on the same plant?


I spent half an hour in my sister’s garden this afternoon trying to capture some decent shots in gusty conditions. These are the best of a bad lot, but they are special to me as this particular hydrangea belonged to my grandmother and has flowered in the same spot since I was a little boy. It must be at least 40 years old. I have no idea what the variety is called, but the kaleidoscopic colours are extraordinary and intrigue me. They will continue to grow richer and more antiquated as autumn progresses, before finally turning the colour of brown paper.