HAVING come from a seaside environment, I am more than aware of the impact that a well grown hydrangea bush can have in a garden.
The mopheads, as they are commonly known, produce those huge flower heads in July and August in a variety of whites, pinks and blues.
Both these and their close relatives, the lacecaps, belong to the species hydrangea macrophylla, originating from Japan and apparently introduced into this country by Ernest Wilson in 1917.
Hybridisation has produced scores of named cultivars of both lacecaps and mopheads.
The mopheads have a full flower head, with each floret having a full compliment of colourful sepals. lacecaps have an outer ring of full flowers, with the florets in the central part of the flower head having no sepals at all and giving a more delicate appearance.
Of course, one of the big issues with these hydrangeas is the colour of the flower.
A naturally red cultivar may develop a bluish tinge if grown in an acid soil and a bluish cultivar may develop a pinkish tinge if grown in an alkaline soil and so it is as ell to check the pH of your soil before you choose a particular cultivar to avoid disappointment.
These summer flowering shrubs need an open, sunny position in the garden to perform well and only need thinning out of older shoots every two to three years to keep them young, vigorous and healthy.