Looking around the lanes and gardens in August you can’t fail to notice the number of Hydrangeas that are in flower. Here in Cornwall where the temperatures are mild all year round and where there is plenty of moisture they grow into enormous shrubs in colours ranging from the purest white to the darkest purple.

The one place to visit to see these flowers en masse is Trebah Garden on the Helford River. This is when they take centre stage. The plants here are hand pruned in early spring which helps promote the abundance of flowers that remain until long into the autumn. The majority of these were planted in 1949.

Included in the species are H. aspera which has soft velvety leaves. Bees collecting pollen from this plant accumulate a blue sac on each leg rather than the usual yellow.

H. quercifolia has large oak-like leaves which develop burnished tinges in autumn.

H. paniculata “Vanille Fraise” (Strawberry Vanilla) has large panicles of white flowers that turn pink as the summer progresses. This one I have in my own garden.

Hydrangea Valley is filled with plants of all shapes and colours. The pretty ‘Monet’ style bridge provides the perfect place to see them with reflections in the Mallard Pond.

If you want to see more of this lovely garden then please click on this link to my other blog: Cornwall in Colours



Flower of the Month: August

29 thoughts on “Flower of the Month: August

  1. Your wonderful pictures make me wish (not for the first time) that we had gone somewhere else other than the Lost Gardens of Heligan during our brief trip this summer. Looking at the map, we pretty much drove past Trebah to get there.

    • Did you like Heligan? I was there on Tuesday, but other than the sundial garden I wasn’t that impressed. I know it is late in the season, but it does seem to rely on children’s activities more and more and is much more of a commercial enterprise rather than a plantsman’s garden. Even the jungle I felt was overgrown and uninteresting and annoyingly I had to walk a long way round to avoid the queue for the rope bridge. I know it is lovely in spring with the rhododendrons in flower, but I do think there are better gardens in Cornwall.

  2. It’s Hydrangea paradise Jude. I’m afraid our climate is not so kind so we see some of them here but with such a short growing season the hydrangeas are few and far between.

    • It certainly is Sue! Though they do have a reputation for being old fashioned flowers and reminiscent of seaside bungalows / retirement homes!

  3. Charming little garden bridge among the hydrangeas! I always gravitate toward blue shades of hydrangeas, probably because those were my Mother’s colors that I grew up with. In the American South, they bloomed during May, but in the Pacific Northwest they bloom in late summer and into fall. Combined with trails of English ivy, blue hydrangeas were my daughter’s choice of wedding flowers for a blue & white theme.

    • The bridge is quite sweet and offers lovely views up the valley towards the private house. Your daughter’s wedding flowers sound lovely. I like blue and white.

  4. I didn’t know there were so many varieties. Here I’ve only ever seen the usual blue and pink ones. Spring starts tomorrow here. I must get out and give mine a prune and see if they flower better. Thanks for the tip!

  5. What a gorgeous array of hydrangeas! I really fancy that ‘Vanilla Fraise’, the colouring is so delicate.

    • It is supposed to go even darker so you end up with white, pale pink and deeper pink all at the same time. I’m afraid mine suffered from rain damage so the petals went a nasty brown πŸ˜ͺ

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