Judith Feins – Hydrangeas, Farmer’s Market


Artist Initiator: Judith Feins
Title: Hydrangeas, Farmer’s Market
Medium: Oil on Board
Size: 11″ x 14″
Price: $600

Author Responder: Linda Hartmann
Title: Wild Hydrangeas
Price: $ Donation to Favorite Charity

A young orphaned girl, with tremendous delight, would follow her grandmother’s request to spread used coffee grounds around flowering plants, her favorite … hydrangeas. The coffee grounds change the acidity of soil, and the color of petals; blue tinted pink, lavender and green, her grandmother shared in sweet secrecy.

Now a woman, she experiments with passion. With careful study she learned that she could propagate hydrangeas with little effort. Procuring thrift-store pots and those in dumpsters at the nursery’s lot, she filled them with soil from a retired farmer, once a friend to her grandmother. He insisted she come in for coffee on her visits and take the collection of used coffee grounds to mix sparingly with the soil.

The hydrangeas grew so fast and full, she took them to the colorful Farmers Market to cull. She created a sign that said “Beauty belongs to all of us. Hydrangeas. Take what you wish and enough to bring smiles to others.” An experiment was born.

Going about her day, choosing produce, chatting with others, she returned to her flowers all gone. The next weekend she gathered more hydrangeas than before, they were growing and glowing like wind had their spore.

She set up her stand with the same sign; “Beauty belongs to all of us. Hydrangeas. Take what you wish and enough to bring smiles to others…” This time hiding behind a huge hedge, she watched and heard what the visitors said. “This is so pretty – an unusual color, Daddy might get us some dinner for dollars.”

Following them to “Daddy’s” stand, a florist his hands told her. Seeing him sell her hydrangeas for money, made her heart ache as this seemed just so scummy. Pretending to browse she began to carouse him to expose, that his business as florist was about to fold. Now her heart swelled and ached in new ways, for his children had helped keep the folding at bay.

He heard in her voice a gentle symphony of solidarity. “Dear friend,” she began, her words whispered promise carried on the breeze. “Let’s form a collaboration, cultivate a combination of our shared passions”;

Beneath the awning of azure skies, their partnership blossomed. Her gift of hydrangeas found a new home, as she taught the children the secret of each bloom. She showed them how to help him display his flowers as towers; an art within play. A synergy and a season of hope, showed him how to rally and cope.

Turning the tide, she went on with her stride of passion – a contagious invasion of gentle persuasion.

The magic of her hydrangeas was sweet, and brought the florist and his children a bit more to eat. Teaching him how to grow from a stem, more hydrangeas than he could give to his fans. A canvas of colors he learned to sow, from the coffee grounds traded by those in the know. One secret to hydrangeas, however, was to leave them wild, not tame – but together. “But you must keep the sign, because what’s yours was once mine.”


Copyright © 2024 Linda Hartmann