I never used to really like Hydrangeas but in recent years I have warmed to them and actually rather like them now. They have been included in a few of the planting plans I have done recently too which is a sign that I quite like them. I think it might have been Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ that first made me think differently about them. I find the large balls of delicate creamy white bracts very tactile and I love them as they turn lime green later in the summer.
We were on holiday in Cornwall recently which seems to be the home of hydrangeas! Almost every house you pass has large established, mainly pink, plants outside. As we were there at the end of October many of the flowerheads had turned to the attractive lime green colour that gives them a more contemporary look I think. The one outside the cottage we were staying in was particularly lovely with enourmous bracts on very large flowerheads and equally big leathery leaves. As the plant was covered in flowers I felt that I could have one of them to take home without impacting the plant at all.
I kept the flower in a vase while I decided what I was going to do with it. Hydrangeas generally dry very well and so I let mine slowly dry out in the vase. I was planning on finding an equally lovely vase or bottle to display this in but then came across a Christmas decoration using hydrangeas. I love Christmas and also love to try a bit of ‘Homemade Christmas’ in a Kirsty Allsop stylee and so the fate of my flower was decided – I turned it into a Christmas tree!
This year I have chosen purple and blue baubles for my kitchen but as this is a dried arrangement I can change these colours next year if I want to, or even later on this year if I find that purple and blue crackers are hard to come by which is what I want to continue this colour scheme!
I don’t currently have a hydrangea in my own garden but this is something that will change next year. I have been admiring the new ‘Savill Lace’ cultivar that has been grown by Boot & Co Nurseries in Holland for Savill Gardens that is a Hydrangea paniculata cross. The large cone like cream flowers eventually develop a pink tinge as it ages and it has recently been on sale in the Savill Gardens plant shop tempting me. So I am going to use the winter as a time to plan where I will put it in the spring.