Hydrangeas may be in flower for several months, peaking in late summer but often adding interest for many more months, as the dying flower heads dessicate and dry, catching cobwebs and dew, frost and low sunshine. Not always and not all are beautiful as they decay, but practically, the flower heads do provide some additional protection for the young buds deeper in the crown. Tidy gardeners might cut off the flowers and dry them elsewhere, leaving a cleaner profile to the plant. I’m not such a tidy gardener.
There are many kinds of hydrangeas – mopheads and lace-caps, oak-leaved, large and small paniculatas, those with half-moon-flowers like Annabelle (and pink Annabelle too), climbing (and I’ve seen some lovely variegated forms of the climbing hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris). Flowers can range from blue through purple to pink, white and greeny white – those too that start in one place and end up elsewhere in the colour spectrum….
Therefore, to start us off, some light reading from the pages of the Telegraph….