You’d be a mophead of sorts if you thought the spectacular hydrangea was only for grandmas. For it would seem they’ve been around just a little longer than your grandmother or mine – in fact, we’re talking millions of years.
10 things to know about hydrangeas
1. Despite their striking beauty, hydrangeas are poisonous, to humans and animals so best not to use as a garnish, or let little people chew on them!
2. Believed, based on colour, to symbolise anything from gratitude, apology, deepening sentiment, frigidity, boastfulness, abundance and prosperity, it would appear Grandma Hydrangea has got you covered.
3. Hydrangeas hold a particular kind of magic, because they can change their colour, though white will always remain classic white.
4. There are 3 different types of blooms – most commonly recognised are the fabulous globe shaped ‘moptop’; the cone shaped ‘panicle’ and the aptly named ‘lacecap’.
5. In addition to her signature colours of pink, white, purple and blue, hydrangeas can be seen in an ever increasing array of vibrant and muted hues.
6. For brilliant blues just add a blueing powder to increase the acidity of the soil. For richer reds just add lime – of the chalk, limestone or sea shell variety.
7. It would appear the humble hydrangea is enjoying a well deserved resurgence in popularity. While able to hold her own in any social event, she has captivated onlookers even more when seen partnered with the rose or peony.
8. Hydrangeas are one of the best cut flowers you will see. They are equally popular for dried arrangements.
9. Whilst an absolute statement on their own, hydrangeas are happy to share the spotlight and excel in the company of zinnias, snapdragons, alyssum, marigolds, sedum or heucherella, to name but a few.
10. The hydrangea is native to southern and Eastern Asia – Japan, China, Indonesia and the Himalayas, as well as north and South America.
Article by Camille Heagney
Image credits: Annie Spratt, Urban Sparrow and The Flower Press