With a gorgeous colour range from rich blue, mauve, shades of pale blue, pink and white, the rounded nostalgic shape of hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) never fails to impress.

More hydrangeas: Growing hydrangeas: The ultimate guide

Use them to establish a style

Elegant blooms and the leafy profusion of pink hydrangees in terracotta pots provide the inspiration for this scene reminiscent of Provençe. Ideal in containers as focal points, they evoke charm and sophistication.

As an accessory

Use a potted hydrangea to add a splash of colour to outdoor living spaces. You’ll find potted hydrangeas at most florists and garden centres.

Related: Growing roses in containers

In a border

Hydrangeas grow about 1m wide and 1,5m high, and grouped together, easily fill large borders. Plant them in light shade or an area that gets morning sun, in rich, well-drained soil. New generation hybrids such as ‘Endless Summer’ will bloom for most of the summer months.

In the vase

More mature blooms make excellent cut flowers. But make sure the central white flower is blooming before you cut them or they’ll droop. Place them in water immediately after they’ve been cut. Cut the stem at an angle and stand them in boling water for about 30 seconds.

To create ambience

Combine the subtle dusky pale shades of pink, mauve and pale blue for a serene romantic look that’s definitely feminine.

New generation hybrids

Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’ (pictured) (blue and pink blooms) and ‘Blushing Bride,’ (pure white blooms that gradually turn light pink) both flower on old and new stalks and produce blooms up to 20cm wide for most of the summer months. They’re disease resistant and grow 1,2m high and 1,5m wide. For more information on the new generation hybrids, visit malanseuns.co.za