The hydrangea has long been a garden staple, its big frilly flower heads bobbing out from beds and pots all over the country. However, despite its reputation as a British classic, it actually originates from Asia.
Hydrangea paniculata is a little different from your usual hydrangea, in that its flowers grow in a cone shape, not a globe. Flowers emerge in summer with vibrant green petals, which then transform (to either pink or white, depending on the plant) as the year progresses. It provides colour and a spicy scent into autumn, long after a lot of other flowers have faded.
You might expect such a spectacular plant to be complicated to care for, but it’s super low-maintenance. Keep it well watered and fed throughout the growing season, then give it a good prune back in late autumn and you should see an explosion of flowers year after year. As a bonus, it’s also very attractive to bees, which are as taken with its pretty colours as you’ll be.
Did you know?
The name hydrangea means ‘water vessel’ in Greek, because its seed pods look like little Greek jugs.