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The Color of Hydrangeas

IMG_1988You’ve probably heard the saying, “garbage in, garbage out.” We all are products of our environments, and it is true that what goes in also eventually also comes out. A real good illustration of that truth is the hydrangea flowering plant. As with all plants, hydrangeas need the proper soil conditions along with the right balance of sunlight, shade, and water to grow and bloom. Unlike most other flowers, the hydrangea is unique in that it is a litmus test for soil conditions. Just as our genetic makeup determines the color of our hair and our eyes, the pigment of the flowers of most plants is based upon the hereditary genome of the plant, or in other words, its genetic makeup. The color of the flowers of the hydrangea is determined not so much by genetics, but rather, by the soil conditions. The color of the flower is based upon the plant’s cultivar (variety) and soil pH. In most cases, acidic (low pH) soil will produce blue flowers, neutral soil will produce purple flowers, and alkaline (high pH) soil will produce pink flowers. So, for hydrangeas, it is really true that “what goes in does comes out” in the color of the blooms. Horticulturists and amateur gardeners alike can determine the condition of the soil just by looking at the color of the hydrangea flowers.

Just like the hydrangea, the condition of our souls can also be determined by the color of our flowers. Along with regular exercise and sleep, what we eat and drink and ingest into our bodies affects our weight and physical health. And while keeping ourselves physically healthy is very important, keeping our souls healthy is just as important. Our souls need constant care, and the condition of our soul is determined by just about everything going on in us and around us.

God cares about the condition of your soul, and it is God who can help change the condition of your soul (soil). Scripture gives us a list of the colors of the flowers that come from healthy soil. Those colors are found in Ephesians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Not only will your flowers be beautiful by having healthy souls, but having a healthy soul will help you have a healthier body and live a healthier life.

What we eat, drink, watch, read, believe, say and do, really does affect the condition of our souls, and thus the color of our flowers. We challenge you to look at your lifestyle and your relationship with God, and then look in the mirror at the color of our blooms, and ask ourselves, “Do I like what I see?” If not, begin changing your soil condition and watch the color of your flowers change too.

Dave Garrett

New Bern, North Carolina

6/22/2016

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