The Hydrangeas…… provide a garden of delight.


Tomorrow is August the 1st and here at one of the National Heritage Hydrangea Collection it will be an ‘Open Day’.   The Collection is open everyday during the season but tomorrow there will be guided walks and volunteers available to tell folk  about the collection, both for Hydrangea care in general and also historical background to this walled garden.

For the volunteers this year it will be one of mixed emotions.  Every years since the team started the restoration and establishment of the collection, they have spent hours  producing a spectacular display for visitors to enjoy.  This season they have had to work extra hard over the past few weeks trying their best to make the gardens look anything like what they would really like.  The winter and spring took its toll. Heavy rains,  a period of drought and a very late frost followed by high winds would have made life difficult in any year……  but add the CV19 factor, lockdown and  other restrictions and those dedicated volunteers were unable to take prompt and continual actions, to mitigate the problems.

So whilst the Collection may not be having one of its best years…it is still a very worthy display.  White blooms seem to have survived the best.  There are still many dead flower heads and even seed heads from last year, however hard the team worked they were never going to achieve several months work in just a few weeks. So full credit to all.


The Collection can be visited at Darley Park, on the banks of the River Derwent in Derby.  The National Heritage Collection is open till September.  An approach area is open  with  both Hydrangeas and Herbaceous borders all year ….. and its all free.  🙂

I should add that today has been blistering hot….35c this pm.  Certainly had people heading for the shade.  Every shadow  was occupied 🙂   Thunder on the way.


Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

31st July

(C) David Oakes 2020

August and another Floral Season….


August and the Hydrangea season is now getting underway.  Even though we live on the outskirts of a City we are lucky to have many great parks.  Hidden away within one such park is one of the few National Hydrangea Collections in the UK.

It had for many years been virtually lost, some say lack of interest but maybe lack of funds and manpower lead to neglect. The good news was that just a few years ago, thanks to the enthusiasm of a few keen and committed folk, who in turn managed to mobilise groups of volunteers, this Hydrangea Collection is now very much on the way to recovery.

I have visited during the flowering season for the past 3 years, each year the plants are fuller, more colourful with each now blending much more with its neighbour…..a garden well on the way to recovery…


Darley Abbey Park Hydrangea Collection, Derby

1st August

(C) David Oakes 2016