Hydrangeas or hortensias will bring a touch of nostalgic charm to your garden with their exquisite, show-stopping blooms held above crisp saw-toothed leaves on tall stems. From mid to mid-autumn, these long-lasting plants native to Asia and America will reward you with sumptuous, dense foliage and exquisite heads packed with small, delicate flowers. Interestingly, most blue and pink varieties will naturally change colour as they age and depending on the pH of the soil they are growing in; their flowers will tend to be blue in acid soils, purple in slightly acid to neutral soils and pink in alkaline soils. Try mixing hydrangeas with hostas, heucheras, ferns and grasses, begonias or geraniums. Dried, they make fantastic decoration.
Plant in moist, well-drained, moderately fertile, humus rich soil in sun or partial shade. Keep in mind that young spring shoots are susceptible to frost damage.