Learn more about Hydrangeas - old and new from Jan and Bill Mathers

Jan and Bill Mathers and Hydrangeas

From the old Hydrangeas in your grandparents gardens to the new small Hydrangeas that are suitable for smaller town gardens, Jan and Bill have experimented and learned about this plant over the years.  They have many varieties in their garden, come and visit their garden at 97 Wells Place, Cambridge - and learn more.


Hydrangeas or hortensia is a genus of 70–75 species of flowering plants native to southern and eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, the Himalayas, and Indonesia) and the Americas.  They have been popular garden plants for a long time and although there are only around 14 species in general cultivation, plant breeders have been busy over the years producing over a thousand different cultivars, although many have now been lost from cultivation.

Usually when we think of Hydrangeas, we think of the classic snowball flower in shades of blue and pink. The macrophylla species is from Japan and there are now over 600 named varieties which are generally one of two common flower types: the mop-head or ball type and the more delicate lace-cap with graceful ‘flat’ flowers.

The Paniculatas are more cold hardy and sun loving (from Japan and SE Asia) and have cone shaped flowers with fine leaves and some are furry.

The Quercifolia (oak leaf) is a native of SE USA with cone shaped cream flowers and awesome autumn foliage

The Serrata species are from the mountains of Japan and Korea and prefer light shade. They have delicate leaves and flowers.

The Species are from Asia and can be evergreen or climbing 

Arborescens has huge parsley like cream flowers which age to green


The first hydrangea appeared in Europe around 1735. Prior to that, hydrangeas had been used in Chinese and Japanese gardens for centuries. From findings of fossil remains, we know that the hydrangea existed some 1400 years ago.

It was the French who really put the Hydrangea on the plant map when they began breeding a raft of new varieties last century and have created the range of varieties we enjoy today. Today breeders in Holland, Germany, Switzerland and Nth America are developing smaller hardier cultivars.

Click here to see photos and names of 8 different Hydrangeas in the Mathers Garden.


Come and visit Jan’s garden with over 150 individually named varieties and see her growing collection of various series……. The Cityline series, the Dutch Lady series, the Magical series, the Mai-Ko series, the Tellar series, the You-Me series and others.

She also has camellias, clematis, dahlias, dogwoods, hostas, Japanese maples, lilies, magnolias, roses, viburnums and many other perennials and annuals.


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