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Hydrangeas

Written on June 17, 2011

In the post before this one, I mentioned that  hydrangeas are abundant in Japan in June.  Since they are growing everywhere, I had to show some to you today.
I forgot to bring my camera with me today, but had I had it with me, this post would show more variety of hydrangeas than it does: the sheer spectrum of colors–from pale to dark, from white to pink to lavender to blue to indigo–is rather astonishing to witness.  And these rich, passive colors are very cooling to the eyes and spirit–much needed in summer in Japan.Funnily enough, even though Japan is bursting with hydrangea blooms in summer, the hydrangea motif is rarely seen in the textile arts.It’s not known why this flower hasn’t crept into the design lexicon as other plants and animals have: perhaps there is no real symbolgy surrounding this flower.I asked this question of a Japanese folk art historian.  She gave it some thought but didn’t know why the hydrangea is not represented in Japanese design more than it is.  She ventured a guess by saying June is a kind of transitional month in Japan, that it is in some way “in between” seasons, somewhere between spring and the full force of summer, therefore, it is not firmly associated with a season as are other flora–the cherry blossom, for example, which is the embodiment of spring.

Seeing hydrangea blossoms indeed helps cool down the mind and body–it’s quite amazing that color can have such a noticeable psychological impact.

 

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2 Comments

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  1. Comment by paula:

    Glad to hear they are keeping you cool.^^

    Living in Seattle, the unofficial hydrangea capital of the U.S., i can tell you that the infinite color variety depends on the acidity of the soil — the bluer the flowers, the more acid the soil. Lavender: mildly acidic. Pink: very low acidity. People here actually add iron shavings to their soil to make their hydrangeas bluer. Oy. But as you say, it’s the variety that is so appealing. enjoy!

    June 17, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  2. Comment by velma:

    i was astonished to see deep blue hydrangeas at the grocery store today! first time ever. travel well, and safely.

    June 18, 2011 @ 3:51 pm