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The Display Garden of the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society was founded in 2007, and the first hydrangea varieties in the display garden collection were planted in the spring of 2008.

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

Joan Harrison, founding president of the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society with Joan Brazeau, the designer of the society's display garden.


Joan Brazeau, May 2008, when the garden was no more than a collection of paper plates marking the location of the plants due to arrive shortly.

The garden is located within the beautiful grounds of Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts, widely known for its collection of rhododendrons and now home to several other plant collections including hostas, daylilies, and hydrangeas.

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

Rhododendrons near the entrance of Heritage Museums & Gardens, early June, 2011.

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

The hydrangeas (foreground) are leafing out with lots of buds when the rhododendrons are in full bloom. There are currently (as of June, 2011) about 100 plants in the hydrangea display garden including macrophyllas (both mopheads and lacecaps), paniculatas, arborescens, and serratas. A climbing hydrangea graces the arbor entrance to the garden.

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison
Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

The first plants were installed in 2008. The above photo was taken in June of 2011 and shows three years of growth.

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

Besides being physically beautiful, the garden is designed to increase a viewer's knowledge about hydrangeas. Some visitors will be surprised if they see H.'Forever Pink' in a distinct shade of blue as it was on the day this photo (above) was taken.

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

The bulk of the garden is made up of popular mopheads and lacecaps (Hydrangea macrophylla) found all over the Cape & Islands. H. 'Bottstein' is pictured above.

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

Most of the hydrangeas in the garden were donated by members of the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society. We very much appreciate the many contributions from Mal Condon including H. 'Amethyst' (shown above).

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

The visitor approaches the garden along a path lined with the paniculata 'Little Lamb' (pictured above) and the arborescens variety 'Annabelle' (pictured below), all donated by Mal Condon.

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

The flowers of H.a. 'Annabelle' are green when they first appear and become white during the height of the season before reverting to green in the fall.

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

It is impossible to visit the hydrangea garden during the summer and not be dazzled by the beauty of the flowers. The lacecap 'Geoffrey Chadbund' is pictured above.

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

Hydrangeas can be found throughout the grounds of Heritage Museums & Gardens. The photo above shows a spectacular row of 'Limelight' paniculatas lining a fence near the entrance to the garden.

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society plans to continue adding plants to the collection and to add educational displays including a "Shades of Blue" garden planted during the 2011 season. Members of the society can often be spotted in the garden where they prune, weed, and generally maintain the display so that visitors can see the garden at its best.

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