The Belgian Hydrangea Society is a nonprofit association established in 1999 with the aim to disseminate information about the genus Hydrangea, to support horticultural and botanical research on hydrangeas and to promote the use of hydrangeas to the general public. At that time, hydrangea enthusiasts Georges Piens and Luc Balemans initiated a collection of hydrangeas which would eventually number over 700 different botanical species and cultivars. They also planted over 200 different specimens in a 1000 mdemonstration garden in Destelbergen, Belgium, which was officially opened in 2000. To safeguard the collection it was duplicated and over the years plants were sent to different locations: Schloss Dyck (Jüchen, Germany), Hydrangea Heritage (Carrickmacross, Ireland) and the Meise Botanic Garden (Meise, Belgium). In 2020 part of the collection was transferred to the arboretum Plantentuin De Kleine Boerderij in Merksplas (Belgium), where around 600 varieties are currently maintained. The Society was also involved in the organization of the 1st International Hydrangea Conference at the Ghent University Botanical Garden, Ghent, Belgium on 16-19 August 2007.

The management board of the Belgian Hydrangea Society currently consists of Jan Oprins (chair), Patrick De Clercq (vice-chair), Georges Piens (secretary), Sonja Vandermeersch (treasurer) and Hans De Neve (member).

Website content

The website presents an annotated overview of Elizabeth McClintock’s traditional classification of the genus Hydrangea. It provides descriptions of the 12 most common hydrangea species, from H. anomala to H. sikokiana.

Nurturing hydrangeas works best when you know some tricks of the trade. We have summarised our experience on a wide range of topics such as planting, watering, pruningfertilising and bluing. We also discuss ways of protecting plants against winter cold. Extensive attention is given to the key pests and diseases of hydrangeas and their management. Last but not least, green thumbs also come in handy for drying hydrangeas, as you can read on the page dedicated to flower arranging.

In a miscellaneous section, we have assembled various bits and pieces that provide a different perspective on hydrangeas: bonsai hydrangeas, hydrangeas with variegated leaves, and even an explanation why someone would steal hydrangeas from your garden. There are also interesting stories on hydrangea tea and on the Ice Saints. Some photos of hydrangea varieties can also be found in this section. Finally, we provide links to websites of hydrangea collections, gardens, and nurseries in Europe and list some interesting reads on hydrangeas.

Much of the information on this website was brought together by Luc Balemans and Georges Piens.


Contact information for the Belgian Hydrangea Society/‘Hydrangeum’ can be found here.

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