I have mentioned before how hydrangeas are growing on me. I always admired them for their ability to provide clouds of colour for ages and I even like the way many of them age, providing interesting texture and form in the autumn garden. I tend to prefer the way the blues age, becoming suffused with green, to the reds but I wouldn’t be too picky and there are always exceptions.
What worries me is that I have always associated them with non-gardeners. I tend to associate them with small front gardens at the front of terraced town houses where the tiny front plot is concreted over or covered in gravel with a diamond- shape of tired old soil that has never seen a scrap of organic matter. The nearest to fertiliser it ever gets is its use as a cat toilet.
And yet the hydrangea thrives. In spring a few daffodils bravely bloom and perhaps some London’s Pride or some straggly aubrieta tries to escape from its captivity. But the hydrangea is the pride of the garden.
And, despite seeing hydrangeas used in so many ways, there is something so totally artificial and urban about them that I cannot really take to them. They are useful, easy, colourful, effective but not quite for me.
Well at least until now. As the possibility of creating a new garden creeps ever closer (please solicitors, read this and get your arses in gear) I am considering planting hydrangeas. Not one or two, but toying with the idea of hydrangeas in rows, clumps, as hedges and edges, as backdrops and focal points.
There are so many to chose from and so many ways to manipulate their colour. These photos are just some of those I have bought. I fear I am getting obsessed.
I am half hoping this is just a phase brought on by stress – we will see!