look closer

I’m not fond of hydrangeas. They are all right when they are vivid cobalt blue, fresh from the florist, but the old plants in alkaline soils that grow into oversized heaps of wishy-washy pink mops are simply not my favourites.

And then, of course, if you leave the flower clusters on over the winter to protect the new shoots, for months on end you have nothing but a dull mess of tangled brown. At least, that’s what I have always thought.

Today, though, I looked a little closer and found the whole bush was decked in a filigree of pale lace.

dead hydrangea filigree skeleton petals
As a poet, I should have remembered that it’s important to focus on details.

heads, hair, hats

Blue-rinsed and perm-headed
hydrangea matrons
eavesdrop our conversation.

blue hydrangea
As we breakfasted on a café terrace the other day, the great heavy mops of hydrangeas nodded gently at us like elderly women listening in and approving our plans for the day.

At least, that was my first thought.
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