Shrubs are the stalwarts of the border- they last for years and years, fill gaps and offer decorative foliage AND flowering! And, what better place to start than Hydrangeas– one of the most versatile shrubs you can find, and I’m going to show how comprehensive the range is too! For care advice and planting pointers, check out our hydrangea hub page.
This Hydrangea gives a colour explosion in the garden right from the word go! The foliage is long, elegant and the same colour as your favourite chocolate bar! This foliage changes with every few weeks that passes; from chocolate-brown to deep green, and then it surprises you by transforming to the most delectable amber and golden shades! ‘Hot Chocolate’ is a robust hydrangea which really fills the borders, and even performs in poor soils!
If you really want maximum flower power from your Hydrangea shrubs, then ‘Endless Summer’ is a real breakthrough! Usually, a Hydrangea macrophylla will only flower on old wood, which means they set their flower buds for flowering in the previous summer. ‘Endless Summer’ not only does this, but it ALSO flowers on new wood, so you get a double whammy! Remember this type of Hydrangea (macrophylla) also gives different coloured blooms on different soils; expect blue on acid and pink on alkaline!
This type of Hydrangea is a bit more woody than most, but with that comes extra hardiness, resilience and an easier pruning method! Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’ is short, compact and makes a rounded, neat specimen for the border or pretty patio pots. The snowball flowerheads almost cover the plants throughout the summer, and gently turn to bubblegum pink as the season progresses!
Undoubtedly the star of the Chelsea Flower Show in 2014, ‘Miss Saori’ was the winner of Plant of the Year, thanks to its crystallized-effect, two-tone flowers, which look like mini tiaras! A strong-growing plant, where the flower colour is less affected by different soil types too, you know you’ll be enjoying the colour you were expecting!
This Hydrangea macrophylla has a distinctive appearance; with mophead blooms where each floret is curled like a piece of popcorn! An easy to grow shrub for sun or shade, great for small gardens or large patio containers! Enjoy pink blooms on alkaline, blue blooms on acid!
Have lost a lot of plants as didn’t realise my soil was ph8 what shrubs flowers would come on well in my garden
Would love greenery over winter and flowers from Spring onwards what would you recommend thanks
Hi Seaz, thank you for your question. I have spoken to our horticulturalist who advises to neutralise the soil as not many plants like alkaline soil. If you use an Ericaceous food such as the link provided you will be able to have whatever you want really. Avoid using tap water, use rain water instead if possible. This will also help. Kind regards, Wendie
I have just planted my Hydrange Love plants can’t wait for the beautiful flowers to come out
Hi Elaine, oh that sounds great, do send some pictures via social media once they are established. Kind regards, Wendie
To Whom, I am planning a cutting garden for a large variety of flowers. I have been told that raised beds are not recommended for flower bulbs. I live in zone 5. If I insulated the sides of the beds with 2″ rigid insulation and used 3 or 4 inches of compost on top would that protect the bulbs? Please advise, Mark
Hi Mark, thank you for your query. I have passed this to our horticultural expert who will be back this afternoon. Therefore, I hope to have an answer for you then. kind regards, Wendie
Hi Mark, are you an English Gardener? My horti expert thinks you could be a usa/canadian gardener – He has given this response.
Hi Wendy, This is most likely a US/Canadian gardener (we don’t talk ‘hardiness zones’ in the UK).
I’ve been as helpful as poss without actually knowing the answer!
Hope it helps
US hardiness zone 5 gets colder than we experience here in the UK. None of us at T&M have any hands-on experience gardening/working with plants down to -20C.
In theory, your idea of insulated siding and a deep mulch of compost should see them through, but we can’t guarantee it. Perhaps use the first winter as a test season : don’t fully plant the raised bed, just add a few sample bulbs to see how they perform through winter. If they return the following spring, plant the bed fully.
Alternatively you could plunge plant your bulbs in bulb baskets (we only supply these to customers in the UK, but you should be able to find a local supplier – alternatively try ‘netted’ pond plant pots). These allow you to easily lift the bulbs ahead of winter so you can store them in a cold but frost-free shed/garage etc. They can then be planted again in spring once temperatures rise.
While it’s not the definitive answer you were hoping for, I do hope this helps. Wendie