OLDIES BUT GOOD­IES

Gardening Australia - - PLANTS -

While we ad­mire a new gen­er­a­tion of hy­drangea, it is im­por­tant to recog­nise the named hy­drangea va­ri­eties that have been around for decades. These have been hard to source, as hy­drangeas were usu­ally not sold by name. They were of­ten handed down from gar­dener to gar­dener as they grow eas­ily from cut­tings. In­deed, hard­wood cut­tings taken in win­ter are al­most fool­proof for any­one want­ing to grow hy­drangeas.

Don Schofield of Mount Tomah in New South Wales holds the Na­tional Hy­drangea Col­lec­tion in Aus­tralia. Many her­itage va­ri­eties in his col­lec­tion were ac­quired from the late Joan Arnold, a nurs­ery­woman and plant col­lec­tor who owned Buskers End in the South­ern High­lands, New South Wales. Don’s col­lec­tion in­cludes some va­ri­eties that are no longer found out­side Aus­tralia.

One gar­dener who grows many named hy­drangea va­ri­eties is Peta Tra­har of Wood­green, a cool-cli­mate gar­den in Bilpin in the Blue Moun­tains. Peta’s rec­om­men­da­tions for eye-catch­ing, old-fash­ioned hy­drangeas are ‘Prince Henry’ (above right), with ragged-edged lime-green and blue flowers, and ‘Green Man­tle’ (right), with star-shaped green and mot­tled blue mop­head flowers. Also com­monly seen in older gar­dens, says Peta, is a va­ri­ety called ‘Aye­sha’, which has clus­ters of small, round blue and white flowers. Wood­green is open by ap­point­ment for spe­cial in­ter­est gar­den and hor­ti­cul­tural groups. For more de­tails, visit peta­tra­har­nurs­ery.com.au or you can fol­low Town and Coun­try Gar­dens on Face­book.

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