Hydrangeas, soulmates of the heavy rains


The first thing that springs to mind when people think of Japan is the bright and beautiful cherry blossoms, commonly called by the name sakura.

But there’s another flower whose beauty is almost on par with the sakura but more modest and ethereal: the hydrangea.

Japan has always been known to be the home and birthplace of breathtaking hydrangea. In Japan, hydrangea blooms mark the end of the rainy season and the beginning of summer.

The Japanese also deeply adore the graceful elegance of hydrangeas, just like how they do for other commonly known ume blossoms, sakura, and irises.

All these flowers hold a special place in Japanese culture, serving as symbols and heralds for the passing of the seasons.

In fact, the Japanese have established a long-standing custom of celebrating early summer by gazing upon hydrangea blossoms.

Embrace the beauty of a rain pour

hydrangeas and Japanese iris

Japan’s early summer is always painted with the striking colours of hydrangeas and Japanese iris blooms.

Many people believe that the rainy season is one of the most unpleasant times to travel to Japan since everything is so slippery and muddy, and the flowers can’t bloom as brightly as they normally would.

It is, in fact, the opposite for those who adore the gentle beauty of hydrangeas.

The arrival of the rains heralds the start of the hydrangea season. In other words, only when it rains can hydrangeas truly show their full beauty, making the rainy season the ideal time to enjoy these stunning flowers.

It is easy to spot healthy hydrangea blossoms almost anywhere near temples, shrines, parks, and gardens, during Japan’s relentless pouring of summer rains.

Hydrangeas have a profound love for water, which is funny given that the name “hydrangea” originates from the Ancient Greek word for “water vessel.”

They thrive in environments with high levels of moisture and humidity. After the first summer rains, the hydrangea clusters start growing gradually until they completely cover the surroundings.

This also shows the powerful vitality of this flower, which distinguishes it from other flowers with more delicate features.

Also, for this reason, the flower speaks to the Japanese philosophy of life. Life has sunny days and rainy days, and we should learn to accept and appreciate both aspects of life with an open heart.

The sooner you can accept both the positive and negative aspects that life has in store for you, the better you will feel overall.

They grasped the concept that we can reach freedom by accepting things as they are. And that by taking things as they are, we can find our way to growth.

Just like how hydrangeas thrive to their full potential when it rains!

Hydrangeas can change their colours!

Hydrangea blooms are varied in size and colour.

They come in different shades of white, sky blue, dark blue, pink, dark pink, green, and purple, depending on the acidity of the soil as well as the rain. The blossom has a pink hue when the soil is alkaline and blue when the soil is acidic

hydrangea blooms

The colour of hydrangea blooms may tell us the pH of the soil where they are growing, making them nature’s own litmus test.

Since soils are characterized by different acidity levels and the amounts of material absorbed by the roots are different, hydrangea flowers will have distinct hues even if they are planted in the same place or are all a part of the same plant.

So, to achieve a certain shade, gardeners need to pay close attention to the type of soil in which the flowers’ roots are buried.

One interesting fact about hydrangeas is that they can change colours in response to their surroundings and weather over time.

Because of such a change in colour, hydrangea flowers are believed to be a metaphor for inconsistency and immortality.

While for some, these flowers represent the transience of all things in life.

In Japanese culture, a cluster of hydrangeas symbolizes undying friendship, family bonds, and enduring love.

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