All our current plants are listed here and most have at least one photograph. All photographs have been taken in the Derby collection. Further photographs to show the different aspects of each cultivar will be added latter. Although some of the plant descriptions are quite brief, we intend to provide more detailed description when we have studied each cultivar in detail.
Click on any species and you will be presented with a list of all the cultivars for that species that are in our collection, along with a thumbnail photograph in most cases. Clicking on a cultivar will give more information and access to a larger photo.
We do not have the facilities to propagate our plants, and therefore we do not sell any Hydrangea’s. However, most of the newer and best cultivars are available from British nurseries and can be sourced by using the fantastic RHS Plant Finder (see our contacts page) It will present a list of nurseries offering the plant for sale and even tell you which ones have a postal service and then provide contact details for the nursery. A few clicks of the mouse and the plant will be on its way!
THE GENUS HYDRANGEA
Hydrangeas have been popular garden plants for a long time and although there are only around fourteen species in general cultivation plant breeders have been busy over the years producing over a thousand different cultivars, although many have now been lost from cultivation which is the main reason we now have National Plant Collections.
There are three main flower types in Hydrangea; 1) The flat topped ‘corymb’ typical of the Lacecaps forms of H.macrophylla. 2) The long cone like ‘panicle’ typical of H.paniculater and H.quercifolia and 3) The ’rounded balls’ of flowers formed from either a corymb or panicle flower type that has been bred to minimise the number of fertile flowers in the flower head and maximise the number of sterile florets.
In the typical wild forms of Hydrangea the centres of the flowers are packed with small, plain, often dull coloured fertile flowers. These are surrounded by sterile flowers that do not have any stamens or carpel’s. These sterile flowers usually have large showy often brightly coloured petals. Although probably not technically correct I am calling all the individual flowers (both fertile & sterile ones) in a flower head ‘Florets’ as most people think of the whole flower head as ‘The Flower’ and therefore it can otherwise get confusing. It is of no surprise that plant breeders have tried to breed forms with more sterile florets than fertile florets, however, when the fertile florets are more or less eliminated from the flower head, it then naturaly takes on a globose shape
The flower colour of some but not all Hydrangeas is susceptible to change dependent on the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Many pink hydrangeas will turn blue if planted in an acidic soil, while deep reds and white usually remain unchanged. However, pink Hydrangeas grown in an alkaline soil can be coxed into turning blue by the addition to the soil of ‘Bluing Compound’ obtainable at most garden centres.
Some species such as H.macrophylla only produce flowers from wood that is at least one year old and therefore it this wood is pruned away they will not produce any flowers, or perhaps a few late in the season when the wood has hardened although a few new species of macrophylla have now been bred that will flower on new wood.
Some species such as H.paniculata produce their flowers on new wood and so will still flower even if pruned well back; in fact H.panicula forms larger flower spikes after pruning. H.aroborescens also flowers on new wood and their thin stems can be pruned back to a basal stool in the winter.