My Hydrangea Quest!

For the past couple of months I’ve been out and about looking to photograph hydrangeas.  What is really wonderful about a thematic project like this is the joy of capturing the growing process at every stage.

Hydrangea © Britt Conley

They start so small but then before you know it their little bud collections begin to burst forth.  You can often find nearly every stage on the same bush.  I find the growth process almost more fascinating than the finished blooms!  Working with a single flower also forces one to notice all those variations between them: the colorings, the growth patterns and the structure.

Hydrangea Gakuajisai Macrophylla © Britt Conley

Almost everyone can instantly recognize the billowing blue hydrangeas that often decorate our neighborhoods, but did you know how many colors they can come in!  Most of my neighbors love these blue ones in front of my apartment building.

Blue Hydrangea Macrophylla © Britt Conley

But they are completely enamoured by the colorful pink ones! It turns out that depending on the pH in the soil, they can be blue, green, pink, white or even purple!  It all depends on where you plant and how much pH effort you want to go through.

Pink Hydrangea Macrophylla © Britt Conley

There are also many different varieties of Hydrangea!

Hydrangea Gakuajisai Macrophylla © Britt Conley

I particularly love these Lacecaps where the flowers emerge at the tips!

Hydrangea Gakuajisai Macrophylla © Britt Conley

Another great variety is the cone shaped Paniculata.

Paniculata Hydrangea © Britt Conley

I came upon these at Lewis Ginter the Memorial Day Weekend.

Paniculata Hydrangea © Britt Conley

But these are not the only white hydrangeas, there are plenty of others, like the Limelight with their lovely delicately roundish petals.

Limelight Hydrangea © Britt Conley

Considering all the varieties that one can find, this project may take years!

I had been photographing these for about six weeks when I stumbled upon an entire forest garden of them at Norfolk Botanical Garden!  Click the link – It’s in bloom right now and driving distance in the Mid-Atlantic!  I will have to head back there within the next couple of weeks!

Hydrangea Macrophylla © Britt Conley

Next time you head out around your block stop over to the neighbors hydrangeas and see if you can spot which type they have.  As for me, despite all the one on one time, I’m still a novice!  But I have grown to appreciate them far more than I ever imagined.  I’ve also started noticing them everywhere.

Hydrangea Quercifolia © Britt Conley

And when I stumble upon colors like this I appreciate the soil’s pH and the probable owner’s effort to get it this way!

Hydrangea © Britt Conley

Of course even without a high pH, hydrangea blooms are beautiful unto themselves.

Hydrangea © Britt Conley

Well, that is one of the things this bee has been up to.  If you know of  a great flower you’d like to see me photographically tackle, let me know!   I would be more than happy to see if I can put together an in-depth photographic package.

‘Til tomorrow…

Britt : )

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