|...have I seen hydrangeas so beautifully, naturally blue. Hydrangea macrophylla.|
I took a walk the other day--but not around here. I went someplace special because the hydrangeas were in full bloom, and if it's ajisai you want to see...
...off to Kamakura you go! There are hydrangea bushes spilling over every wall, adorning every corner right now. But one temple in Kamakura is so famous for its ajisai that people know it as well by its nickname-- "Ajisaidera" (Hydrangea Temple)--as by the real name.
Ja... ikou, yo!
|Every alley and cross street is lined with pink, blue, and purple.|
|Gradations of pink to purple on a single bush...|
What was I talking about? Oh. Flowers. Right.
It's a good thing I was by myself, as I took a picture of nearly every flower I saw:-)) Actually, all these photos are for my Mommy, who would (like me) stop to look at every. single. flower. I come by it honest;-)) Happy Birthday, Mom!
|Lovely blue Lacecap Hydrangeas (Gaku-ajisai)... and crowds.|
|Blue Lacecap, tending to purplish...|
|My favorite color...because it occurs naturally:-)|
This year, though, the ajisai were almost pulsatingly blue-- True Hydrangea Blue, not the too-bright royal blue you sometimes see in hothouse hybrids.
|Ajisai and Bamboo|
A bush may be initially pink or blue, but depending on the acidity or alkalinity of the soil and the uptake of aluminum ions from the soil, very often you will see bushes with no two mopheads of flowers the same color. Here's the relevant bit from Wiki:
"In most species the flowers are white, but in some species (notably H. macrophylla), can be blue, red, pink, light purple, or dark purple. In these species the exact colour often mirrors the pH of the soil; acidic soils produce blue flowers, neutral soils produce very pale cream petals, and alkaline soils results in pink or purple. This is caused by a color change of the flower pigments in the presence of aluminium ions which can be taken up into hyperaccumulating plants."
|Don't they give the distinct impression of arteries and veins?|
|Pink to Purple... maybe the soil is slightly acidic her|
|Not retouched in any way-- this is the actual color I was looking at...|
|Ajisai behind the Tea House|
This is getting a bit long, so...
|The Tea House|
... I'll leave you with a few more images of Hydrangeas at the Ajisai-dera, and continue this post on the weekend with the Other Stuff At The Temple Besides Hydrangeas...
|Kamakura Ishi no Sandou|
The money shot: at right, the 800-year-old path of original, weathered Kamakura Stones (鎌倉石の参道... Kamakura Ishi no Sandou). Of course, ideally, you'd want this shot with just the stone steps flanked by gracefully drooping ajisai and no people, but....
|Ajisai and Jinrikisha...|
Hydrangeas, crowds, and Jinrikisha...
...all the bushes looked like this...
|Blue ajisai with a touch of purple...|