White hy­drangea

El­e­gant and re­silient – the Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety’s star shrub is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity

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El­e­gant and re­silient – meet the Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety’s star shrub

We’ve sus­pected it for a while, but if the RHS Chelsea Flower Show de­crees it, it has to be true: the plant of 2018 is the white hy­drangea.

The Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety’s es­teemed judges deemed the Run­away Bride ‘Snow White’, an Asian hy­brid bred by Ja­panese plants­man Ushio Sakazaki, the vic­tor for its ‘pro­fu­sion of lace­cap flow­ers’ and ‘grace­ful trail­ing habit’ (cloud-like, it grows hor­i­zon­tally rather than up­wards). Keen gar­den­ers will be ea­ger to prop­a­gate their own genus, but we’re happy to bring any va­ri­ety of this sturdy white bloom into our gar­dens and homes.

The Hy­drangea anomala, subsp. peti­o­laris, which is sim­i­lar in ap­pear­ance to Sakazaki’s star shrub, can be found in most gar­den cen­tres (£14.99 for a pot, Cro­cus; cro­cus.co.uk) and will flower next spring. Al­ter­na­tively, the white Hy­drangea macro­phylla, known as ‘mop­head’ (the type with a sin­gle dense bloom on each stem), looks chic enough to re­place the ubiq­ui­tous pe­ony as the plant of choice for state­ment vases in stylish homes – it costs a frac­tion of the price and lasts for longer (£65 for ten stems, Flowerbx; flowerbx.com).

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