AgribusinessAgri-LinkGainCountryLifeglanbia plc
Home    Gardener's Corner    News    Locations    About    Contact twitter facebook facebook pintrest
Gardening Advice Blog

Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

view all blogs   what to do in the garden by month   how to care for specific plants   Our horticulturists top tops for around the garden   Browse our other categories in the menu below

Blooming Hydrangeas

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Jul 02, 2016
Our Irish grown hydrangeas have been grown in greenhouses

During the summer in CountryLife we get endless deliveries of plants each week. Often they just come in as a massive sea of plants. But sometimes one particular plant will stand out and grab your attention. This week we got a delivery of hydrangeas and I was blown away by the display of flowers on each of the plants.

Our Irish grown hydrangeas have been grown in greenhouses and because of this they are already in full bloom. This is why I think they caught my eye. My own hydrangea at home are still a good few weeks from flowering and it came as a surprise to see the flowers come off the truck.

Hydrangeas originate in southern and eastern Asia and also America. They are a great flowering shrub that perform extremely well in Irish gardens. Their decorative flowers are definitely their main selling point but many gardeners also like them for their large textured foliage.

There are two common types of hydrangea found in gardens, mophead flowers and lacecap flowers. Mopheads are the traditional variety that everyone is familiar with while the lacecap varieties are relatively newer and are definitely growing in popularity over the last number of years with gardeners looking for something a bit more different.

Red-Baron-is-a-great-one-to-considerAt the moment in store we have a few different varieties of hydrangea in stock for anyone looking to add one to their garden for this summer. Red Baron is one of the most impressive ones that we have at the moment. It produces large deep pink flowers which are tinged with red. The flowers are very big measuring up to 8 inches across so they have a big impact in a flowerbed or when planted up in a large container for a patio.

Blueberry Cheesecake is a fantastic lacecap hydrangea to consider for your garden. As the name would suggest the flowers come in a very similar shade of blue to blueberries. The flower head starts off lilac blue on the outer flowers and transitions to a deeper blue in the centre of the flower. Blueberry Cheesecake produces slightly smaller flowers which measure around 4 inches across.

Another great variety that again does what it says on the tin is ‘Early Pink’. This is one of the first varieties to start flowering so can be a great addition to bridge the gap between spring and summer colour in the garden.

They work great in Irish gardensIn terms of caring for hydrangeas the most important thing is regular watering and regular feeding. Hydrangea do not handle drought very well so it is important to make sure they have a regular supply of water, especially during warm dry weather. In my own garden I like to feed hydrangea with a granular seaweed feed that you can pick up in store. I find that a seaweed feed not only helps to produce healthy flowers but also gives you lush green leaves.

Pruning is also important. This helps to ensure proper flower and also ensure your plants produce larger flowers. I treat my hydrangea almost like raspberry plants when I am pruning them. In spring I remove the stalks that have produced flowers the previous year. Ultimately you are just thinning out the shrub and I find this works really well. As a rule you should not cut back more than half of the shrub in one year.

Written by Malachy

Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at: hello@countrylife.ie

Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!