Faded glory

'Nikko Blue' Hydrangea (7-30-09)

'Nikko Blue' Hydrangea (7-30-09)

 A flower’s appeal is in its contradictions – so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect.  ~Adabella Radici

I just love the way the spent blooms of hydrangeas get more interesting with age.  The color of Nikko started out a crisp blue that has faded to a pleasing contrast of rose pink and lime green.  It  really looks beautiful combined with the new blossoms of  Limelight in the Hydrangea Garden Bed.   Hopefully these will linger on through fall providing texture and muted colors in the landscape.  Don’t you just love how the seed heads or spent blossoms extend the season of interest a bit further?  🙂


14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by greenwalks on July 30, 2009 at 2:52 am

    Hi Raquel – How are you doing? Hope you are getting some moments of peace and relief lately. Even if it’s just a quick dash out to the garden for a night shot of your beloved, lovely hydrangeas! 🙂 I planted one this year but it’s not really blooming – another is wilting in a pot waiting for me to find a good spot and some better transplanting weather. Someday, maybe I’ll have at least one that looks half as good as yours!

    Hi Karen, it’s been a bit calmer this week in my household. Thanks for asking. 🙂 You’ve been getting some hot weather there in your area huh? Fall would be an ideal time to plant your hydrangea. I love taking night shots, it really fades out the background stuff nicely.


  2. Hi Racquel, so lovely. Sort of like people, who lose the bright hair colors as they age. Your attitude is spot on, we need to embrace the changing of both flowers and plants and ourselves. 🙂


    What an interesting comparison Frances. We like plants fade with age. Sometimes gracefully, sometimes not so gracefully. 😉 Thanks!


  3. Crazy as it sounds, I leave seedheads of Rudbeckia on at the end of summer. I think the birds might like them–but I also do for the “fallish” look. Can’t believe we are even talking about this–where did summer go?? 🙂
    (PS–hope you are doing well–you have been in my thoughts!)

    That’s not crazy Linda, I do the same thing for the same reasons. 🙂 It’s not quite over yet. We still have another month to go. Thanks I’m doing okay this week so far.


  4. Hi Racquel .. I still have the firs Little Lamb hydrangea flower heads I dried to keep indoors (kitchen) .. it worked out so well I am goinf to try the redder tones with Quick Fire or Pinky Winky.
    I’m with Linda on leaving most of my flowers in the garden for the birds .. I have a smorgisboard ? spelling ?? LOL

    They really do dry beautifully don’t they. I’ve always let mine dry on the plants and leave them all winter for some interest. But your idea sounds good too. My Pinky Winky isn’t blooming yet, but the plant looks healthy & it’s at least 3 or 4 times bigger already. I do the same thing with seedheads, the birds appreciate it I think. 🙂


  5. Hi Racquel, I need to trim out some of the older stems on mine. This rain (though much appreciated!) is making the old blooms so heavy!! Maybe this morning I can get some of the older stems into the trash before pickup!! It breaks my heart to have to take off these pretty mature blooms though.

    Oh that would break my heart too Janet. I was afraid after yesterday’s downpour that the branches of my Crepe Myrtle & Limelight would break. 😦 But I was lucky, they recovered nicely.


  6. I do hope you are taking deep breaths and brief moments of quiet….yes, hydrangeas are one of those flowers that gets better with age!!

    I’m trying Darla. It’s been a quieter & more peaceful week so far. 🙂


  7. I love the hydrangeas just for this reason. You and I are on the same sheet of music because tomorrow’s post is this very subject (scheduled a week ago). It is the time of the year for the great flower and seed heads. I think it makes gardening so much fun!

    Guess we were on the same wavelength this week, huh? 😉 I enjoy the spent blooms of so many flowers almost as much as the blossom itself.


  8. I love the old hydrangea blooms too. I usually bring some inside for fall or winter arrangements. Wish I could grow Nikko here but too much winter die back.

    Nikko dies back to the ground for me each winter and luckily I haven’t had to deal with late frosts killing the emerging buds so far. They make wonderful arrangements dried or fresh huh? 🙂


  9. Hard to believe that beautiful bloom was once blue. I love plants that keep on giving.

    Isn’t it odd how the color changes from so dramatically? I tried to leave a comment on your blog post but blogger was being a bit difficult. Sounds like you had a nice time & visit with your sister. 🙂


  10. I was just noticing the faded blooms on my “Let’s Dance” hydrangea the other day, Racquel, and thinking much the same thing. The faded blossoms are almost as beautiful as when they were in full bloom. By the way, my “Limelight” is blooming! I love this plant! I hope that you are getting some rest and time for yourself.


  11. So pretty…Love the comment Frances made.


  12. I almost think the faded blooms of the Hydrangeas are as beautiful as when in their full glory. I loved teh comment above about them being like people.~~Dee


  13. Posted by mothernaturesgarden on August 1, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Try them with balsamic vinegar.
    GB with Balsamic


  14. Hi Racquel
    My favorite plant in the world is the hydrangea. I love how it really is a 3 season plant – summer blooms, fall fading and winter interest. Plus there’s always a bouquet or two of dried hydrangeas around the house in the winter AND I spray them gold and put them on the Christmas tree. Alas I only have one in my new garden, but that may have to be remedied by summer’s end. The sales are on and I’m heading to the nurseries this weekend.
    Take care


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