I visited Heale Gardens in Wiltshire again this week in order to satisfy my need for brightly-coloured flowers. Our garden is more of a shady woodland garden with lots of mature trees and difficult soil and consequently we don’t have a lot of success with summer flowers.
This is a lovely mauve-coloured species of Hydrangea serrata. I’ve always liked Hydrangeas and have memories from when I was young of the large mop-head variety – Hydrangea macrophylla – which seemed to adorn many gardens. This is a lace-top variety which has flatter clusters of flowers consisting of fertile flowers in the centre surrounded by the larger sterile flowers – and ovate serrated-edge leaves.
What’s always fascinated me about these plants is the way the flowers change colour according to the soil type they are grown in: you get pink flowers with an alkaline soil, and blue-mauve with a more acid soil.
I really like this variety of Hydrangea and it might be possible to grow one in the garden as they apparently tolerate shade. On the down side though, they, need a moist soil.