The third act of summer, maybe a little earlier this season, delivers the glory of the hydrangea to the northern garden. Besides its stunning white pom-poms, beacons of light in the yard and garden, hydrangea are a wonderful shrub for part shade, even full shade conditions, and they are a softening presence in the landscape. I think they are wonderful for taking the edge of the corners of a house or the lines of a fence. Because of their grand presence, they hold court as a focal point in a perennial border or mixed-shrub border.
Also, the fresh-cut and dried blooms can’t be beat on the dining room table. I’ve had the best luck preserving my hydrangea blooms by gently letting them dry out in their vases, over the course of a week or two. Sometimes a bloom will wilt when you bring it in, almost immediately, and this is caused by a sap that forms over the end of the stem, blocking water flow. If you have your vase filled with water sitting near the shrub and submerge it immediately after cutting, your odds greatly improve for pert blooms, from my experience.
Two favorite varieties for your consideration: