Plant of the Week: Hydrangea

Plant of the Week: Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are among the best-loved of summer shrubs, their showy flowers making an eagerly anticipated spectacle from late July onwards.

They're well known for their curious habit of changing their flower colour in different gardens, and we're often asked why this is. It's a tendency most often seen in mophead and lacecap varieties of Hydrangea macrophylla, which produce blue flowers when soil is acid and pink if it's alkaline.

You can influence this by watering with rainwater, which is more acidic than tap water, and by taking steps to lower your soil's pH using aluminium sulphate 'blueing agents'. Alternatively, grow your hydrangeas in roomy containers of ericaceous (acidic) compost. 

Create a new border

Make this the summer you create a new border, carving it out of your lawn or just overhauling a tired area of the garden. Improve the soil with plenty of well-rotted organic matter, and you can plant now for instant colour: great choices include bergamot, canna, daylilies, phlox and the exotic-looking pineapple lily, Eucomis bicolor.

Garden Buildings Surrey

Ripley Nurseries has an extensive range of garden buildings ready to view! any style any size built to order. Visit our garden centre near Guildford & Woking to look at our range of garden sheds & summer houses. After visiting our display garden buildings be sure to visit our Farm Shop for your local fruits & veg. Serving the local community since 1895 Wisley, Send, Horsley, Clandon, Cobham, Byfleet, Esher, Woking, Weybridge & surrounding areas.

Top tips for sowing vegetables

Most vegetables are raised from seed, making them fantastic value – for the price of a single lettuce bought in the shops, you can buy a packet of seed to grow 1000. That's reason enough to grow your own: but you'll find sowing seed is also hugely satisfying as the first tiny sprouts appear…

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