With long lasting very showy flowers, hydrangeas are hard to beat. Mop head hydrangeas produce large clusters of flowers that form a large ball in shades of pink or blue. Lace-cap hydrangeas are available in similar colours but their flowers consist of large flowers interspersed with much smaller flowers looking like a piece of lace. Growing to around 1.2m (4 ft) they provide a mass of colour in July and August.
Over the winter, hydrangeas will lose their leaves but being fully hardy will re-leaf the following year. Mophead and lacecap hydrangeas do not need pruning as they flower on old stems but can be neatened if required.
Hydrangeas are one of a small number of plants whose flower colour changes according to the soil conditions, blue flowered hydrangeas need to be regularly fed with an acid feed to retain the blue colour otherwise they can change to a mottled pink-blue. For best results hydrangeas should be planted in a moist area in full sun to partial shade.
They do not normally suffer from pest problems and if planted in the correct position are very easy plants for the garden.