Landscaping with hydrangeas

Landscaping with hydrangeas

Did you know hydrangeas are perfect for a shady border with bold foliage and big flowerheads? If you’re looking for a plant with a significant impact, you can’t beat a hydrangea. Their rounded shape and bold foliage make an excellent backdrop for other plants, and they have their starring moment in late summer when the eye-catching flowerheads appear. Hydrangeas are easy to care for, and they’re perfect for lighting up a shady corner of the garden. Find out everything about hydrangeas and start growing them yourself.

How to grow hydrangeas

Hydrangeas do best in moist, well-drained soil in dappled shade. Macrophylla hydrangeas (mopheads and lacecaps) have a unique party trick up their sleeves – the flowers change colour depending on soil pH (acidity or alkalinity). When grown in acidic soil, their flowers turn blue, producing pink flowers in alkaline soil. White-flowered hydrangeas are the exception, as their flowers don’t change colour with soil pH. 

Types of hydrangea

Whatever your situation, there’s sure to be a hydrangea to suit. Here’s a quick overview of the most common hydrangea types:

  • Hydrangea macrophylla: this includes both mophead and lacecap hydrangeas. Mophead hydrangeas have rounded flowerheads, while lacecaps have flatter flowerheads with a centre of tiny flowers surrounded by an outer ring of open florets. The flowerheads can be red, pink, blue or white.

  • Hydrangea paniculata: These are generally large shrubs with conical flowerheads in late summer. In some varieties, the flowerheads gradually change colour over the season.

  • Hydrangea arborescens: these have huge domed flowerheads and are spectacular in full flower. Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ is the best-known variety of this species, with enormous rounded white flowerheads.

  • Climbing hydrangeas (Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris and Hydrangea seemannii) are excellent for a shady wall. They can take a couple of years to get going but eventually cover a large area. 

Landscaping ideas for hydrangeas

Hydrangeas have a fabulous presence on the border, and they flower for a long time in mid and late summer. Here are a few ideas on where to place your hydrangeas for the best effect:

  • Hydrangeas add both texture and architectural interest to borders with their large round flowers, making a good contrast with more delicate perennials or ornamental grasses.

  • Mophead hydrangeas are compact enough to be grown in a large container. Place a couple in pots on a patio to brighten up a shady seating area. 

  • Brightly coloured pink or blue hydrangeas make an excellent focal point in a pot on a patio. They also look good repeated through a mixed border to give a feeling of continuity to the planting.

  • Add white-flowered hydrangeas to a shady corner of the garden to add light and interest all through summer. 

  • Hydrangeas are perfect for filling a space in a border, growing quickly into neat, rounded shrubs. The dry flowerheads last a long time and can be left on the plants over winter to add interest. They also make excellent cut flowers. 

Our centre has a fantastic selection of hydrangeas and other shade-loving plants. Come in and see our great range!

From home grown plants to helpful staff we have everything covered for you to achieve your dream garden. Hope to see you soon!

 

 

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