When I was young, I always associated Hydrangeas with old people – my Mum’s family was from Northern Ireland and every time I was dragged to visit her “old Aunties” they all had masses of Hydrangeas in their gardens. Subsequently I was late to come to the Hydrangea party, but now I am here I may be the last to leave! I love Hydrangeas, especially at this time of year.

Hydrangeas are so easy to grow, I think anyone could grow them (so they are a good plant to give as a gift), they are very hardy, need very little looking after, and can tolerate any type of soil. As you will probably know, the acidity in the soil may change the colour of your hydrangea – but how good is that? They really are fabulous plants! My father in law says to turn your pink flowers blue, add a handful of rusty nails to the soil, but I am not sure if he is right or not! Try it and let me know how you get on!

There are three types of hydrangea generally grown in Scotland:

• Mophead with their large flowerhead, which, as the name suggests, looks like the head of a mop. My personal favourites are Jip Blue and Renata

• Lace Cap with round, flat flowerheads. Brilliant varieties here are Lady in Red and Annabelle.

• And of course, Paniculata. A great late summer flowering hydrangea, ideal for planting now, Limelight or Bobo are the ones I like best as you will know from last weeks ‘Plant of the Week’!

I have always wanted to grow a hydrangea hedge but never had a spot to do so – perhaps that will be next year’s challenge!

Happy gardening!


This is a brilliant plant for mid summer – it has gloriously scented flowers – perfect for those warm summer evenings! One of my favourite varieties, Danielle, is a hardy herbaceous perennial with wonderful dark green pointed leaves and, by contrast, a wonderful crisp, white flower head.

Phlox paniculata comes in a whole range of colours from white and cream through to pink and purple and really does look astonishingly beautiful at this time of year in any garden.

Colin has been working in the gardening industry for over 30 years and owns 7 Garden Centres across central Scotland and is passionate about Scottish plants.