The Purple Hydrangea

DSC01005Outside the cottage we rented at Lake Erie last month, there was plenty to gawk at. Kayaks gliding and occasionally capsizing, sailboats disappearing in the distance, and a variety of long-legged birds. But the sight that garnered the idle speculation was a particular hydrangea blossom outside the cottage.

Unlike its bronzy pink siblings on the bush, this one was decidedly purple – a perfect match for the painted bench outside our front door. Happily gawdy, it had found a way to stand out. We speculated on the cause. Perhaps a resident had dumped coffee grounds on the bush, changing the soil from alkaline to acid and steering this new blossom toward blue. Perhaps it was a separate plant altogether – a premise dismissed by the acid-alkaline crowd. Or perhaps – and I hope – it was simply a middle flower child looking for a way to make a statement.

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