In past years, at about this time, I have been able to take you on a mini tour of the National Hydrangea Collection here at Darley Park Gardens, Derby. Usually colour packed with all shade of Blues and Pinks, from fine tints to bold statements of rich colour.
The past three years have been rather tough for the Hydrangea’s. 2019 it had been a hard winter followed by drought and heatwave. 2020 we know that CV19 hit us. This meant that the care these plants needed across early spring and into the summer was not available from the team of volunteers that manage the collection. To make the situation worse there was another drought and one thing hydrangea’s need is water, with no one to water they suffered, yet still managed to put on a reasonably colourful display….. but some plants succumbed and needed to be replaced.
So with hope the volunteers looked forward to this year being better. All their hard work seemed to be working till we had a very late hard Frost, (the only real frost of the year). Many new flower heads that were forming were just lost. Dead heads were removed, some recovered some still struggle.
The result is that this year there is not the variety of rich colour, true there are some hot spots but the prevailing colour is White. White varieties seemed to have handled the tough times much better….it is also true that some of these ‘white’ blooms will start to show subtle tints of green and pink but still retain a white glow.
Despite all the trauma, the hard work of the volunteers seems to have paid off. True there are many bare patches of ground but also signs that new plantings, plantings to secure the future of this lasting important National Hydrangea Collection….. but as always it does very much depend upon the vagaries’ of the weather and some hard work.
Fingers crossed it all works out well. But whatever the future …..
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2021