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Hydrangeas bloom on the Cape from early July through September. Most people have heard of ‘Endless Summer’ or ‘Nikko Blue’ hydrangeas as they are staples of our region’s summer landscape. Their big, beautiful mop-head flowers bloom in pinks, blues, and even purples depending on the soil pH.
But these are only two of over 155 species and cultivars that can be seen in Heritage’s Hydrangea Display Garden. Created in partnership with the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society in 2010, it expands with new plants each year. Also not to be missed is the North American Hydrangea Test Garden, established in 2016 and designed by Horticulture Director Les Lutz. Here you will find new hybrid varieties being grown and studied under the leadership of horticulturist Dr. Michael Dirr, author of over 300 well-known scientific publications.
Seeing the hydrangeas against the backdrop of Heritage’s already impressive gardens is truly eye candy. Giant pompoms in gorgeous shades of pink, blue, purple, white, and lime green entice as they develop, explode into bloom, and even as they fade. Flower details range from lace-capped and frilly edged to solid colored and variegated. Leaves can be smooth, serrated, or oakleaf shaped. My personal favorites are lace-capped ‘Jogasaki,’ an oakleaf hydrangea called ‘Snowflake,’ and a new test garden cultivar called ‘Froggie.’
The collection is impressive and will immediately inspire you to go home and work in your own garden. You can even purchase plants on your way out.