I always thought hydrangeas were big, round, and dopey–the ultimate suburban shrub. Indeed, they were a front-yard cliche in the Long Island suburb of my youth. Last month the sweetie took me to a jazz festival in Chatauqua, way upstate in western New York.
Everyone in the community vies to have the most beautiful garden. From a distance, some of the bushes reminded me of how dull hydrangeas can be. In all fairness, it was the end of the season and most blooms were not in their prime:
But some bushes forced me to drop my distain and take a closer look.
I was amply rewarded by the subtle gradations in color.
So my advice to all is this: Next time you pass a hydrangea in bloom, zoom in on it.