A Look Into the Renewal of the Hydrangea
by Kristen Hyers
The beautiful Hydrangea originates in southern and eastern Asia, as well as North and South America. Most are shrubs 1 to 3 meters tall, but some can grow to become small trees, and others can be lianas reaching up to 30 meters by growing up trees.
No other group of shrubs has undergone such a renewal as the hydrangea has undergone. Over the past few decades hydrangeas have been disregarded as dependable, unexciting shrubs whose big, pale flower heads make a useful fill-in for the summer garden. But in the past several years hydrangeas have been re-introduced by a Midwestern plant breeder as Endless Summer, a compact, Bigleaf Hydrangea that bears beautiful puffs of blue-edged pink blossoms for six full months in mild-weather conditions. This success has prompted the introduction of other Hydrangeas (Blushing Bride, Quick Fire) and has inspired gardeners to take another look at these neglected treasures.
Luckily, these newly introduced, innovative Hydrangeas have not affected the long-lived durability of the species. They adapt well to conditions ranging from shade to sun and are also the ideal shrub for enclosing around a summer garden. When it has reached autumn the flowers age beautifully, changing to rosy tints that compliment the season perfectly.