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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Recent Comments

Hydrangea Expression: New double rebloomer from Gardening Express

Posted by Graham Rice on 05 Aug 2011 at 07:19 PM

After many years of being unfashionable - dependable but never exciting - hydrangeas are enjoying a revival. This is partly because some of the best new varieties flower for far longer than the old ones, the ones still gamely flowering late every summer in your grandmother's garden.

Now, we have an increasing range of reblooming varieties with a longer flowering season including this first rebloomer with double flowers, Expression ('Youmesix').

Expression starts to open in late spring, and continues to late summer and into autumn. In our coldest climates where hydrangeas may not bloom at all if the winter cuts back the top growth, Expression should flower in late summer.

With small creamy buds, each floret opens in the shape of a tiny water lily – in blue on lime-free soil and in pink on limy soils. The florets are packed into wide heads and held on upright stems so they won't flop over as many older varieties do, especially after rain. Flowering should continue until frosts.

The plants are also more compact than those of many mophead hydrangeas, reaching about 1m/40in high and about the same across. They're idea for smaller gardens and also be grown in containers where their long flowering season will make especially valuable. If you soil s is naturally limey and you'd like to have blue flowers on your Expression hydrangea, use hydrangea colourant or plant it in container of ericaceous compost.

You can order Hydrangea Expression (Youmesix') from Gardening Express.


Phot's-Moll said:

Oooh, that's pretty.

I keep meaning to try making my hydrangea go blue, but never get around to it. I have the right sort of plant as it was blue when I was given it, but I suspect my soil may be too alkaline for the treatment to work. Still, I won't know if I don't try, will I?

on 06 Aug 2011 at 10:07 PM

cvereker said:

Gardening Express rather bizarrely suggest that this hydrangea goes well with a range of 6 different tomatoes!!

on 10 Aug 2011 at 06:11 PM

Graham Rice said:

Like you, cvereker, I'm astonished by this suggestion! Of course, these suggestions are all generated by software and if it's not set up properly...

And Phot's-Moll - get some hydrangea colourant from the garden centre and give it a try.

on 17 Aug 2011 at 11:41 PM

ukhostland said:

Have you read all the complaints about Gardening Express? Do you have an email address for them....a lot of people are looking for one, it seems. Not a company I would suggest dealing with. Here's soem comments on them:

or here:

on 18 Jan 2012 at 10:23 AM

ukhostland said:

Careful, if you recommend this firms products. Landscape Juice corrently has a discussion about them and complaints are all over the internet.

on 18 Jan 2012 at 10:25 AM said:

Hi ukhostland, thanks for pointing this out.... some people out there do not like us for sure, but we are a genuine company, and always happy to resolve any issues our customers may have (thankfully these are not frequent, as we ship thousands of plants every week). If you have an account on our site, you'll have access to our online contact area.... else, we just a phone call - 08448 044 253 or 01245 442511 away. We are also on and unfortunately many forums have bred comments from competitors that do not like what we are doing....but who can blame them when we are selling a 2 litre plant, for less than one of their 9cm pots for example.... I can assure you this is said without a shred of arrogance. High quality plants, service and customer care, plus value is what we are all about. Call me 01245 442511 and judge for yourself - Chris Bonnett - Gardening Express

on 18 Jan 2012 at 01:43 PM said:

follow up about the toms as the goes well with on this Hydrangea, we noticed that quite quickly and got that corrected :-)

on 18 Jan 2012 at 01:59 PM