Landscaping With Hydrangeas and Making Your Garden Gorgeous

pink hydrangeas
Hydrangeas, also called hortensias, are beautiful plants with big flowers. They grow originally in the Americas, southern and eastern Asia. Even though the largest diversity can be found in Asia, people all over the world started decorating their gardens with this amazing plant. Today we are going to learn a little more about landscaping with hydrangeas. First, we will see what plants are great companions for these gorgeous flowers, and then we will have a look at some garden design ideas.

Can I Use Hydrangeas to Enhance the Garden Around My Pool?

Hydrangeas are a beautiful choice to build a garden around your pool, as they add a touch of elegance and color to any outdoor space. These versatile flowers come in various hues, including vibrant blues, purples, pinks, and whites, allowing you to create a visually pleasing and serene atmosphere. With their lush foliage and stunning blooms, hydrangeas can effortlessly enhance the aesthetics of your poolside oasis.

Landscaping with Hydrangeas – Plant Companions

When you think about planting hydrangeas, you must have in mind some companions for it as well. Basically, you must consider plants that look alike and plants that don’t. A simple principle to follow is to focus on certain features of the main plant (such as big flowers, for instance) and to repeat them in other companion plants. Alternatively, you can contrast them with the rest of the garden (for instance, choose big flowers only in hydrangeas and small flowers to fill up space). Remember that hydrangeas grow as a mounding shrub that presents large and rounded leaves, so consider that when designing.
Close up of two blue hydrangea flowers, with a third one visible in the blurry background
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1. Flowers

One common mistake when landscaping with hydrangeas is to consider only the flowers. Remember that flowers usually last very little, so don’t base your entire garden looks on them. As such, if you want to enjoy colors for as much as possible, imagine an assortment of flowers. Choose some that blossom before, simultaneously, or after the hydrangeas bloom. The colors depend entirely on you. Some prefer to go for similar shades, while others aim for an impressive contrast. Here you have some suggestions:
  • Zinnias;
  • Snapdragons;
  • Sunflowers;
  • Foxgloves;
  • Pansies;
  • Heucherella;
  • Peony;
  • Catmint;
  • Daylily;
  • Dianthus.

2. Ornamental Grasses

Flowers are not the only ones to consider when landscaping with hydrangeas. If you want to obtain an impressive effect, you should also think about ornamental grasses. They have a timeless elegance that matches even the craziest plant combinations. The best part? They are easy to grow and require low maintenance. For instance, you can start learning how to grow Bermuda grass, which is a great companion for hydrangeas. Here you have some other ideas:
  • Fountain grass;
  • Blue Fescue.
Close up of a cluster of yellow hydrangea flowers, set against a green foliage
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3. Trees and Shrubs

Some companions to consider when landscaping with hydrangeas are trees and shrubs. Taller plants are great in underlining the beauty of their big flowers, so a good idea would be to choose small to medium-sized trees. They can be the perfect choice for offering shrubs the shade they need. Here you have a couple of suggestions:
  • Tatarian Dogwood;
  • Pagoda Dogwood;
  • Reeves Spirea;
  • Azalea;
  • Rhododendron;
  • Pieris;
  • Mountain laurel;
  • Japanese maples.
Front shot of a hydrangea shrub growing alone, with another shrub in the background and a tree, lit by the sunlight
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4. Hosta Plants

Our last idea for plant companions when landscaping with hydrangeas is the hosta plants. They have a great foliage, and in the summer, you can see the spikes of a trumpet-shaped flower. Their greatest advantage is the fact that they come in a huge variety. Moreover, they are just like hydrangeas since they both love the shade in the afternoon and the sun in the morning. They can also tolerate sun, which makes them perfect for planting under the hydrangea foliage. Given that there are so many varieties, it’s better to consult with an expert before buying a certain selection.

Landscaping with Hydrangeas: Design Suggestions

Now that you know what plants go well with hydrangeas, it’s time to see how exactly you can combine them. Up next, you will see various suggestions and combinations between the plants we mentioned above and not only.

1. Hydrangea Border

What You Need:
  • Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea Magnus);
  • Giant Hyssop (Agastache ‘Black Adder’);
  • Giany Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum ‘Alabster’);
  • Bee Balm (Monarda ‘Vintage Wine’);
  • Hydrangea paniculate ‘Limelight’;
  • Sedum (‘Herbstfreude’).
One solution when you start landscaping with hydrangeas is to make a border out of them. The idea here is to create a long-lasting display by using various types of plants. You will have to combine the huge stature of Hydrangea Paniculata with Bee Balms and Purple Coneflowers. Between them, you should plant Anise Hyssop, as well as Korean Mint. On the front side of the border, add pink Sedum if you want to have a splash of color when fall comes.
Colorful Hydrangea design with pink hydrangea flowers, red and purple small flowers on a brick wall
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2. Shady Corners

What You Need:
  • Hydrangea macrophylla (‘Madame Emile Mouillere’);
  • Plantain Lily (Hosta ‘Patriot’).
If you have some areas in your garden and you want to make them shady, it’s a good idea to combine hydrangeas with other plants. You can find this type of design in many gardens, including the New York Botanical Garden. It relies on a delicate and elegant look that can brighten a shady corner. The best part about it? It’s easy to copy and it requires a low maintenance. The highlights of this design are the Hydrangea macrophylla and the variegated hostas, both of which won the Award of Garden Merit offered by the Royal Horticultural Society.

3. An Impressive Walkway

What You Need:
  • Blue Lily Turf (Liriope muscari);
  • Nepeta racemose (‘Walker’s Low’);
  • Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides);
  • Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’);
  • Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’);
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’).
If you already have a bluestone path or want to make one in your garden, it’s a great idea to choose plants of various heights, colors, or textures to go with it. Taking a walk through your backyard will be a delightful experience, filled with colors and variety. The beautiful mix of ornamental grasses and hydrangeas turns the entire place into an oasis of relaxation.

4. Color Splashes

What You Need:
  • Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’;
  • Astilbe chinensis ‘Vision’.
This is a perfect solution for landscaping with hydrangeas in a shady garden. The flowers of the Astilbe plant, which are a deep purple, create a beautiful contrast with the large green leaves of the hydrangeas. The scenery they make is exquisite, making it look like the flowers are glowing in the shade. Of course, you can also use some other flowers of different colors, considering the rest of your design as well.
Garden decor with a mug, a jug, and a plate with chestnuts, placed on a table cloth, on a tree stump, against a background of hydrangeas and greenery
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5. Romantic Hedges

What You Need:
  • Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’);
  • Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’.
Romantic hedges are a nice addition to a beautiful terrace or a plain landscape. The Japanese Forest Grass offers an interesting contrast through its bright foliage placed under the imposing hydrangeas. Furthermore, you can enhance this effect if you add a bluestone paving, either through the entire patio or simply through a walkway. In the evening, the grass leaves reflect light, which makes for a magical garden. Moreover, it is a perfect choice if you have wrought iron fences or garden furniture. Keep in mind that the plants used for this décor received the Award of Garden Merit given by the Royal Horticultural Society.

6. Romantic Terrace

What You Need:
  • Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’);
  • Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’.
If you have a small patio and want to turn it into a romantic terrace, this combination is ideal. If up until now we showed designs where you had to plant lots of hydrangeas, this suggestion follows the principle ‘less is more’. A bluestone pavement makes the perfect background for small hedges of hydrangeas. The Japanese Forest Grass is useful for smoothing out the edges, completing a modern look. Once again, you can enjoy the discrete glow of this design during the evening.
Mix of different shades of hydrangea flowers, against a rich green foliage
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7. Hydrangea Slopes

What You Need:
  • Hydrangea paniculate ‘Limelight’;
  • Different types of roses;
  • Various herbs.
The idea here is to use as many different plants as you can. Choose a slope and fill it up with plants. The hydrangeas will create a tall background for the smaller plants, such as roses and herbs. Of course, you can also add some grass, like we suggested in the previous examples, but it won’t have the same wild effect, which is the aim of this design. The unsupported hydrangeas give off a wild, yet elegant style.

8. Hydrangea Jungle

What You Need:
  • Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’;
  • Ammi majus;
  • Echium pininana.
Following the same wild tone of the design, the jungle look is another option you can choose when landscaping with hydrangeas. You can randomly plant the three varieties mentioned above and let them grow wildly. The large leaves will create a lush aspect, suitable for covering up the sides of a walkway, for instance. Alternatively, you can also plant them in a certain spot to create a shady place during the summer.
Walkway landscape with pink hydrangeas placed on the sides
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9. Mix Different Hydrangeas

Our last suggestion for a hydrangea design is to choose as many different types as you can. Ideally, you should go for contrasting colors. Then, plant them next to one another in the same spot. When they’ll reach maturity, you will have a beautiful mosaic of colorful flowers. Moreover, it will be an original and unique aspect, since you decide where you want to plant them and in what position. For a more complex challenge, you can create patterns out of certain colors (such as a purple square in the middle of a white area).


Hydrangeas represent excellent choices for a lush, rich aspect of your backyard. The best part about them is that they come in a huge variety, so you can play around with colors, heights, and textures. Now you know how it’s best to combine different plants between them, so it’s easier to create an exquisite design of your own. If you don’t like any design, you can simply spread the seeds around and enjoy a wild random look. Image source: 1
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