This bush is an adult. Well...in human years, that is; I don't really know how to convert twenty-two calendar years into plant years. It was one of five, or maybe seven, hydrangeas I planted when we first landscaped the yard back in 1991.
This bush is a survivor. None of the bushes did well in the first location so I took the three that still showed signs of life and moved them. Two of those died but this one just keep chugging along. After years of being a dwarf, it's now almost chest-high.
This bush is more than a little contrary. While it didn't die, it didn't bloom either. I tried fertilizing it religiously and when that didn't work, I left it on it's own. I tried cutting it back after it froze and also just leaving the ugly dead brown sticks standing all winter. Nothing produced the pretty flowers I had so successfully grown with ease at the old house.
This bush is no dummy. It knew my patience was wearing thin and it would soon be history so about three years ago, it produced a single solitary flower. I'm easily swayed; who wouldn't want to keep a plant that could produce something so beautiful.
This bush is definitely a show-off this year. It's loaded with blooms as big as volleyballs. The creamy white buds turn to pastel puffs of flowery goodness and seem to grow larger every day. The color is determined by the acidity of the soil and since this one lives under a live oak tree, it leans toward the blue end of the spectrum. There are, however, just enough pink blooms to make things interesting.
I'm loving this bush.