Hydrangea Season again……


National Hydrangea Collection, Darley, Derby

The new season for Hydrangea’s is upon us….the blooms are just starting to produce the rich cushions of petals above the dark green foliage.  The weather over the past few weeks has been far from kind, so in a gap in the rains and whilst the clouds broke just a little, I thought I would see how this years blooms were doing.

The National Hydrangea Collection is hidden within an old walled garden.  Located at Darley Abbey Park, Derby and is perhaps one of Derby’s best kept secrets. One time Derby was a mass of flowers across the summer but sadly our council, in its so called wisdom, has cut the Parks and Gardens budget to near zero.  Truth is if it wasn’t for a dedicated bunch of volunteers this collection would have vanished….it is sad as Derby was the location for the first ever Public Park and has until recently an enviable record on maintain some great parks and open spaces.

The best Blooms are yet to come ……so with luck and some good weather I will try and pop back, just hoping that this spell of bad weather does not cause too much damage.

6th August

(C) David Oakes 2017



19 thoughts on “Hydrangea Season again……

    • We are…and our Council do nothing to promote it. Mind you they promote little else of notable or historic value. They are even closing the majority of our Libraries. But we can plan to build an Ice Rink…that can go with their previous whim the Velodrome that looses money.

      • Ahh…councils…. It is so the same overhere and I believe, everywhere. About those libraties, is it an idea to make a few mini libraries in old phone boxes?
        A little good news too. Betty is home again, but totally knackered. Hospital must be a very tiring place for old people. She’s not well yet, but good enough to be home. I won’t be ringing her before Thursday. Maybe send some flowers to her home. 😉

          • Let’s hope that this time they were right. Scarborough Hospital is a Teaching Hospital after all. I will hear more on Thursday. When she is not so tired anymore hopefully. After all, she is 93…

        • Oh my… I can’t even stand 23º C. How in heavens do you cope? I did hear that this week things would get better. I heard of 42º even somewhere. I think that was in Spain or on the Balkan. Terrible.

          • For me the the most comfortable temperature is around 25-30+. Now it´s a little bit too hot but during daytime I´m at home working in a/c. Late afternoon is the best time to go out and take a swim in the Sea. I hope we will not get 42 here in Malta 😎 Thanks for your comment and visit Lydia!

  1. Hydrangeas are a favorite of mine, though I live in a place where they are unlikely to thrive.

    How sad the council chose economy over support for the park. A little publicity about the hydrangea bloom-out could attract tourist money to the community that out-weighed the cost of their upkeep.

    Seems every place there are people of small imaginations running the affairs of the community and nation!

    I live in the town where Carhenge initially was regarded as a blight along the highway. The state and the town council bott sought to have it removed. “We have the power to do this or fine you if you ignore our order!”

    Bold people of vision worked to fight the ignorant and short-visioned authorities till a strange thing happened: tourists started making side trips to see it when their main destination was the Black Hills of South Dakota and other better-known tourist destinations! Advertisers started using it in television commercials! Movie makers featured it in their movies! A book about quirky roadside attractions in the USDA featured it as one of the top 10 quirky attractions! People started sacrificing virgins there on Summer solstice! (Well, maybe not the last one, though Summer solstice events have been held there regularly, with the total eclipse passing through this town on August 21st will have no less than the Governor of the State of Nebraska in attendance.)

    All that said, at one point, the people who preserved Carhenge ran out of funds or the ability to maintain the place, and put it up for sale. With no takers, the town voted to become the new curator! Yes, ironically! The city fathers finally realized: This is a cash cow for the community, a genuine attraction (for some reason they probably don’t discern), and truly is “art”, whatever that is.


    If scrapped cars arranged to suggest Stonehenge can be turned into an attraction, why not the first public park with heirloom hydrangeas (I gather, heirloom)? I’d come to see them! A festival centered around the return of the blossoming of the hydrangeas would be a logical focus for an effort to promote and expand them in the Derby park. If the ;local council is blind, perhaps local people can promote and expand on their volunteer efforts to save (and expand?) this collection of hydrangeas. They are a treasure!

    • Thanks for the reply…Interesting. Have to say it is a big thank you to the team of volunteers for the Hydrangea Collection, it is a small group but have as the leader/inspiration one person who is an expert of floral horticulture so he inspires and gives direction and momentum to the project.
      We seem to rely upon volunteers to maintain (keep going) just about every service and subject, from conservation to care for people, education and so many social necessities. Trouble is so many are well meaning in intent but also as individuals, sadly many just wither by the wayside for despite the fact that they are volunteers they still need a plan, a direction, leadership and support (maybe financial maybe tools, maybe location)……. we loose a great deal of talent on a great many projects. The major problem is need, the hydrangeas are a valuable asset but to be frank we could get by without them….. services that effect and benefit peoples welfare and health it becomes critical.
      Sadly all these are rooted in a political system that works for itself (what ever political persuasion they may have) rather than for the people.

  2. Lovey gardens, David. It is so sad when municipalities decide to cut the budgets of the very entities that make a place special — why do we do that?! I’m pleased there is a dedicated group of volunteers to maintain the gardens and I hope they are doing outreach to schools so the next generation picks up the job in the future.

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