THEALE, UK: The hydrangea has been named as UK’s Plant of the Month for August and these big, long lasting summer blooms are being championed by one of Britain’s most successful recording artists, Katie Melua.
There are two types of flowering hydrangeas – Mophead flowers are large round flowerheads resembling pom-poms and lacecap flowers bear round, flat flowerheads. Over the winter, hydrangeas will lose their leaves but being fully hardy will re-leaf the following year. Flower colour changes depending on soil condition. Hydrangeas should be planted in a moist area in full sun to partial shade, but are normally very easy to grow and low maintenance.
Musician, singer and keen gardener Katie Melua is a big fan of hydrangeas, “Even as a singular flower head, a hydrangea is majestic to me. Flowering from summer all the way through to autumn, large cone shaped hydrangea flowers command a lot of attention. The variety and richness of colours from white to the deepest purples are another glorious quality of this plant. Even when the flower is dying, the textures of the tiny flowers and the large florets, means the colours carrying on. I used a lot of hydrangeas at my September wedding and was able to keep and dry nearly all of them. They still fill the house with that richness and bring back the lovely memories of that day.”
Popular varieties include Hydrangea macrophylla Mophead and Lacecap, Hydrangea arborescens’ Annabelle’ and family, Hydrangea quercifolia Oakleaf, Hydrangea paniculata PeeGee and family.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’ won RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2014 and was also awarded Gold and Best in Category in the New Plant Awards at the HTA National Plant Show 2014.
Nominated and agreed upon by British growers and retailers, the HTA’s Plant of the Month campaign highlights the plants that are widely available and looking especially good each month.
For more details about Plant of the Month, please visit www.the-hta.org.uk/plantofthemonth