Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Fact as Strange as Fiction
They have always been blue.
After moving into the house I saw someone down the street with both pink and blue bushes, and I though, "Wow! Such a pretty combination!"
I considered getting a pink one to put between my blue bushes, only to learn the very strange fact that hydrangeas don't actually come in different colors. They are all the same.
The colors of the flowers change depending on the elements in the soil, and if you want to change one to another, all you have to do is change the alkaline level of the dirt they're planted in.
This was intriguing to me mainly because I wanted to know how bushes so close together could have such different soil, and whether the owners of them specifically engineered them that way.
I however am not a green-thumbed individual, so my bushes have stayed gloriously blue.
This week I'm reading David Baldacci's book Split Second (the first of his I've read, and I'm definitely hooked), and in the book, the two investigators, hunting for a missing gun, notice an arrangement of hydrangeas in the garden that are all blue... except for one. The one in the middle is pink. One of the investigators starts digging under it while the other asks what the heck he's doing. Turns out, if something metal - like a gun - is planted under a hydrangea, it changes the alkaline of the soil under that plant and will change it's color.
Wa La. Murder weapon found.
And this morning, after seven years and a full summer so far of blue blossoms, I went outside to discover my hydrangea in the middle is now pink.
Coincidence? Maybe. But I'm still locking my doors!