What kind of hydrangea is this?

Calling all experts!

I am not a hydrangea expert, just a big, big fan of them!

Three years ago, we took down some gangly, ugly and very spotty red tip shrubs and in their place, we planted a row of what we thought were white hydrangeas. At least that is what the labels said at Lowes, where we made a purchase and aligned them along a short stretch of split-rail fence.

fenceline of hydrangeas
My plans are to mark this area off with stone (wire grass is a problem here) and dress with mulch.

We thought we bought seven, identical white hydrangeas. Two at the far end turned out to be blue lacecaps. Not exactly my plan, but I don’t mind surprises. But the one closest to my garden gate has an altogether different look than any of my other hydrangeas.

The first year, my husband kept mowing it down so it never bloomed. Last year in 2012 it looked like this:

Pink at last! Well, sort of!
Pink at last! Well, sort of!

I was delighted to finally get a pink hydrangea. Sorta, kinda. The pink was very slight, not at all over powering. To my eye, it had a very vintage look and the pink played off well against the vanilla white background color. I loved the old-fashioned delicacy to the blooms. One might say it had even Victorian aesthetic

This year, 2013, the same hydrangea surfaced with a whole new look:

This is the same plant as above, and just as delicate, but now in shades of powder blue
This is the same plant as above, and just as delicate, but now in shades of powder blue

Can anyone comment on what variety of hydrangea this is (as Lowe’s label was way, way off)? Even though it isn’t white, I quite like the surprise and its evolving colors. My soil apparently has quite a bit of aluminum in it, as any pink or rose hydrangeas I have tried to grow have all converted over to blue, and these are my deepest, most stunning blues. It is much harder to turn blue into pink, as you must actually subtract aluminum from the soil. Adding acid or alkaline amendments to the soil really can’t change blue over to pink. I haven’t made any cuttings for indoors as I want it to continue to grow, but it is a variety I wouldn’t mind propagating.

I rather like my mystery plant!

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