Hydrangeas are flowering shrubs with showstopping appeal, producing truly stunning large flower heads in shades of white, pink, red and blue from July through to September, just when the shrub border is so often short of flowers. Some hydrangeas have mop-head style flowers with large ball-like blooms, while Lacecap varieties are quite different with each flat flower-head having an outer ring of large flowers surrounding a central group of much smaller ones. Hydrangeas are popular for mixed and shrub borders, as a centre-piece, foundation plant or in containers on the patio or near an entrance. Hydrangeas love the warn morning sun but dislike intense afternoon heat, making them best suited to sheltered locations with sunny mornings and shady afternoons, typically found on the north or south side of your home. They require a humus-rich soil with plenty of water and protection from heavy frosts. Avoid planting directly underneath trees, which can lead to competition for water and nutrients.