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Heavenly hydrangeas: Diarmuid Gavin on why these showstopping beauties are irresistible eye candy for gardeners

 

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Hydrangea paniculata

Hydrangea paniculata

Floriferous candy-coloured display of hydrangeas

Floriferous candy-coloured display of hydrangeas

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Hydrangea paniculata

A few years back, my little one took a fancy to surfing and we spent a summer chasing waves along the wonderful west coast. And so one Saturday afternoon, I found myself driving from Donegal to Sligo in search of surf... when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a floriferous candy-coloured display of hydrangeas.

My surfer dude cast her eyes towards heaven as I screeched the car to a stop. Wetsuits and foam boards went flying everywhere while I grabbed the phone and snapped an image (below) that has delighted me ever since. And in a quiet moment, if I'm feeling unloved, I post it on Instagram and watch the love flow in!

In that Sligo moment, a love affair began. I've several varieties in my garden and they all do different jobs for me. They're easy to grow, make great informal hedges and wonderful long-lasting cut blooms, and are a good choice for coastal areas as well.