Intense Hortense – Hydrangea macrophylla – fronts Hosta ‘Hadspen blue’ on a stormy Three Mile summer’s night.

This gift from a friend and keen gardener came to us red and, within a year, in the garden’s rich, acidic soil, flowered violet, as it’s continued to do. I love the old name Hortensia – a French feminine name for gardener derived from Latin hortus.