My Hydrangea Heart

One of my very favorite things about summer-time is watching perennials get their "moment in the sun".  Dearest to my heart are hydrangea.  With their striking size and assortment of vibrant colors they're the heart and soul of the garden.  When I was a child, my grandma told me they bloomed for my July birthday.  Looking back, I am not sure if she meant to convince me that they bloomed for me as a sort of birthday gift or if she just meant they naturally coincided with my birthday - but I chose to believe the former.  She still picks a bouquet for my birthday every year and they'll forever be a reminder of her.

Yesterday, I was struck by the understated sparkle of the Limelight Hydrangea in bloom at my neighborhood's beach.
And perfectly on cue, a sailboat came into the picture...

I have many varieties in my own gardens.  I inherited a large hedge of Lacecap's when I bought my house that have tripled in size since.  Their various shades of violet and blue look so striking together.

Just two years ago, I planted what have become two huge pink Mophead's on each side of the stairs of my deck.  They're very happy there and their overflowing blooms are so heavy they're dragging on the ground.  They've made for plenty of beautiful arrangements over the past few weeks.
I have one white Annabelle hydrangea.  Annabelle is my grandmother's name and it is my ode to her and our hydrangea bond.  One day this summer, my mom showed up at my house with a fern.  She had dug it up from her garden for me to transplant to mine.  She explained that this fern was a descendant from my grandmother's garden and she had given its relative to my mother years before. But the ferns in my grandmother's garden originally came from Vermont, where my grandfather dug one up while on a family vacation back in the 1960's.  A multi-generational fern with some history.  Sadly, my grandfather died before I was born and this very day was the 45th anniversary of his death.  My mom said she hoped I would find a good place for it.  And I did, right next to Annabelle.