A couple of weeks ago, under the auspices of BBC Gardeners’ World, we visited Hydrangea Derby. It’s a most unusual garden that’s run entirely by volunteers, yet boasts a National Collection of Hydrangea paniculata. Within the two-acre walled garden there are scores of varieties and many other members of the hydrangea clan. Below the walls are many more, given a new lease of life by the volunteers. There are old H. paniculata here, too. They should be pruned hard in late autumn or early spring. H. macrophylla, both mopheads and lacecaps, flower on old wood so just need a tidy up. Nonetheless, really old plants benefit from a good prune.
We looked at the H. arborescens group too, specifically ‘Annabelle’. It tends to run underground throwing up lots of new shoots. It can be cut back hard right to the ground since it flowers on new wood, too. Hydrangea Derby is open to the public – you can even take your dog!
Hydrangea paniculata has pleasing panicles of flower. This one’s ‘Vanille Fraise’