Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Journal sketch - Hydrangeas - Maree Clarkson

"The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting."

~Vincent Van Gogh

A sketch in my Feint No. 6 Daily Journal - some Hydrangeas, given to me by a friend, in my Vintage Hollands Pewter water jug standing on my kitchen table.

I didn't know, but Hydrangea, common names Hydrangea and Hortensia, is a genus of about 70-75 species of flowering plants native to southern and eastern Asia (China, Korea, Japan, the Himalayas, and Indonesia) and North and South America.

They grow extensively here in South Africa and flower over the Christmas period and 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 the caused by a color change of the flower pigments in the presence of aluminium ions which can be taken up into hyperaccumulating plants. Due to the high acidity of the soil (caused by lots of Blue Gum trees) on our smallholding, my Hydrangeas are mostly blue, unless I add some alkalinity, then I get the pinks.

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