Hy­drangeas Are Com­ing Back Into Fash­ion

The People's Friend - - Nature -

I think hy­drangeas are the he­roes of late sum­mer, but they’re sorely un­der-rated here in Bri­tain.

If you travel through north­ern France in Au­gust and Septem­ber, you’ll see hy­drangeas in al­most ev­ery front gar­den. There is a hy­drangea gar­den called the “Sham­rock Gar­den”, and most gar­dens open to visit fea­ture hy­drangeas in a big way.

Here in Bri­tain, gar­den de­sign­ers love the huge white pom-poms of Hy­drangea ar­borescens “Annabelle”, but coloured hy­drangeas have been out of fash­ion for a while.

But hy­drangeas are so easy to look af­ter and you can of­ten en­joy their flow­ers from July to De­cem­ber.

Don’t dead-head hy­drangeas in au­tumn.they dry on the stem, cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful win­ter flow­ers in vin­tage silk hues. The time to snip their flow­ers off is Fe­bru­ary to March.

If you’ve got gaps in your bor­ders, now is a good time to plant hy­drangeas. My lat­est favourite is Hy­drangea macro­phylla “Miss Saori”, a for­mer Plant of the Year.

It has dou­ble pinky-white frosted blooms and the leaves are tinged red in au­tumn. It has proved al­most in­de­struc­tible in a large pot on my ter­race, in spite of spo­radic ne­glect. Avail­able from both Thomp­son & Mor­gan and Cro­cus.

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