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Here in the Northeast, we are bracing for Hurricane Irene, set to strike Sunday morning. Sigh.

Looking out my window, today is actually a gorgeous summer day, with blue skies and bright sunshine and not even the slightest hint of what is coming our way. Later on, we will be battening down the hatches (so to speak) but for now, it is best to soak in all this day has to offer. Soon enough, the wind and rain will keep us indoors.

“Love at First Blush” (Hydrangea macrophylla, Endless Summer Hydrangea ‘Blushing Bride’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5, 1/160s, ISO 640

Earlier this year, we cut all the lower branches off of some very large Eastern Hemlocks along the fenceline, creating a new garden area underneath. I took this as an opportunity to add evergreens and flowering shrubs that I didn’t already have elsewhere in the landscape.

Amongst the varieties of Mountain Laurels, yews and azaleas, I added in two new species of hydrangea. ‘Blushing Bride’ produces large, pure white mopheads with tinges of blue and pink as the blossoms age.

“Irene” (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Cardinal Red’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5, 1/30s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

‘Cardinal Red’, on the other hand, boasted “deep red blooms” on the nursery card included with the plant. Hmmm, so far, my blossoms are merely a deep pink, but that is most likely due to the soil’s pH. Even though I’ve added large quantities of lime trying to turn it alkaline, I suspect this might be a never-ending battle. With all the evergreens around, soil pH tends to run on the acidic side. Oh, well. Pink is nice, too. 🙂

Stay safe, everyone. God Bless.

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32 Comments

  1. We have not heard much about that hurricane over here, but one of my daughters is in New York and has just now written to me, that they must cancel a trip to Washington in the weekend…. Is it really so bad???

    • Hi Truels – I suppose it wouldn’t make international news but, for some areas along the coast, yes, this will prove to be a damaging storm. It’s path isn’t the norm so many folks have never experienced such an event. They might not know what is coming their way. I hope everyone (including your daughter) makes it through without a scratch!

      • Here we are not used to such hurricanes, and if it also applies to you over there you better be careful, I really hope you and your family and everyone in the region will be safe the next days!

      • I hope so, too!

        We have prepared ourselves as much as we can. Now, it is up to Mother Nature.

  2. That blushing bride hydrangea looks like a beauty.
    I’m doing my best to enjoy this lovely day too, before we have to deal with Irene. You stay safe too – got my fingers crossed for not losing power, but I’m not confident after this summer we’ve had!

    • Thanks, Karen. Yes, it really is lovely…I find I’ve never been disappointed by the Endless Summer series. Those growers really know what they are doing! 🙂

      Yes, I’ve got all fingers and toes crossed that we all weather this one well! I fear for you guys in Western Mass as the eye is heading your way. Haven’t seen that since Hurricane Gloria in ’85. I will be thinking of you… hugs.

  3. Wish you, your husband, your home and your gardens the best as Irene passes over you.

    • Aw, shucks, thanks so much Scott. You are so very sweet to say that. It’s like I’ve just received a nice big hug. ♥

  4. As everyone has said much more elegantly than I can, I hope that things remain as calm as possible this weekend… please stay safe, M.P.! I hear that Irene character is kind of a jerk!

    (Stunning images, as always…)
    🙂

    • Ha! Yes, I suppose she is! 🙂

      Thank you, Sig. Your words are as elegant as everyone elses and I do appreciate the well wishes! (and the compliment on the images. 😉 )

  5. Please please send some of that rain our way. In the meantime, be safe!!!

    • Trust me, Derrick, if I could, I would!

      Will do my best! Thanks! 🙂

  6. Beautiful hydrangea shots. I, too, am a huge fan of the hydrangea. I’ve had great luck with the Endless Summer and this year planted the Twist-n-shout variety. Best of luck with Irene. We’ve had it with natural disasters. This is getting ridiculous.

    • Thank you, Becky! 🙂

      What is it about hydrangeas? I’m not quite sure. I am drawn to them as well…they bloom for such a long time and are great for drying. Can’t say that about many flowers!

      Yes, you take care as well. They say things come in threes so (hopefully) this is the END to the string of Mother Nature’s onslaught for us!

  7. I hope the storm is not a bad one for you. I don’t think it will be. I’ve been a through a few hurricanes and tropical storms so my advice is to keep the camera batteries charged and lots of charcoal/propane for the grill. Do you have ice? That is always handy.

    I miss flowers. The Texas drought has wiped out so many flowers.

    • Thank you, Burst! All good advice!

      I’ve seen quite a few hurricanes and tropical storms and our home is 1929 so it has weathered its share for sure. We worry a bit about all the tall trees that surround our home. If one of those somes down, anything and everything in its path will be crushed.

      If I could send you the rain, I would!

  8. Stay safe. I’m sending safe thoughts and love your hydrangeas too.

  9. I wish you and your lovely garden to stay safe in this storm. There are news about the situation every hour now, and of course I follow what is said, and think of my american blogfriends. Are you using twitter? Lovely flower photos, I have the same pink Hortensia, some of the flowers even change color without any request from me. I should be gratefull, I understand by reading about your battle.

    • Thank you, Birgitte. We are just beginning to get into the storm. So far so good but I expect it will be a long, long day.

      No, no twitter for me. Not too keen on the social media, I’m afraid. Perphaps when I get a new phone in September. I guess I am an old soul, still clinging onto a sense of privacy and personal space. I still believe in moments where one is ‘unavailable’. Life is too short to be spent with head down texting. 🙂

      I don’t mind too much the color-changing aspect of hydrangeas. I have one that is supposed to be pink and I let it go and do what it wants and this year, it is a beautiful burgundy-purple. Not sure the blooms will last this storm, but they were lovely! 🙂

  10. Hope everything (and especially everyone!) makes it through the storm OK.

  11. I sure do hope that the predictions are worse than the reality over there Tracy… Hoping you have a pretty uneventful weekend when it’s all done with… as does everyone else over your side of the pond..

    • Thanks, Brian! It looks like it is turning out that way for us. Some have not been so lucky but it appears we’ve been spared. Not out of the woods yet as we can expect significant wind gusts until midnight tonight. Lots of cleanup of yard debris is in the forecast for next week.

  12. Has the hurricane hit you?? 😦 Your hydrangeas are simply beautiful!!

    • Unfortunately, yes, although as a Tropical Storm and not a hurricane. Not out of the woods yet, as the newscasters say since winds are still gusting. Looks like we’ve dodged a bullet here in my area. Others haven’t been so fortunate.

      Thanks! I’m glad I photographed them before the storm! 🙂

  13. Your Blushing Bride is quite beautiful. I have the red hydrangea that I managed to turn pink with Holly Tone, so don’t use that. I’ve got cabin fever thanks to Irene, but this coming week is supposed to be beautiful.

    • Hang in there, Lynn. You’ll be back outside tomorrow. 🙂

      Looks like Irene isn’t going to be as bad as predicted. Keeping fingers crossed that no trees come down in my yard. During the ‘lulls’ I have ventured out to remove branches and feed the birds and squirrels (they were very glad to see me!) Then, the winds pick up again and I hurry back inside. We’ll have lots of small debris cleanup to do this coming week.

      Thanks! I wouldn’t have used Hollytone on the hydrangeas…I will just need to keep liming the soil in a feeble attempt to achieve the deep red. I’ve learned from experience that you just never know what surprises Mother Nature will present. It could happen!

      Stay safe!

  14. I hope all is well with you and yours.

    Beautiful shots, as always.

    • Thank you, Robin. Much appreciated.

      Glad to report us, the house and the yard survived the storm. Lot’s of cleanup to do today but the sky is blue and the sunshine is warm so who’s complaining? 🙂

      • Good to hear. Looks like the worse damage was in southeastern NY and Vermont.

      • Yes, we certainly dodged a bullet on this one. Hard to see the stories of the damage in Vermont. Devastating for sure.


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