About Cape Cod Hydrangea Society
The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society Mission
To increase our knowledge and enjoyment of hydrangeas and to share what we have learned with the Cape Cod community.
“I am always happy in the company of fellow lovers of hydrangeas.”
– Joan Harrison, Founder CCHS
The Cape Cod Hydrangea Society was founded in 2007. One of our first goals was to establish a display garden somewhere on Cape Cod. It made sense to us to have an extensive collection of hydrangeas here on the Cape where hydrangeas thrive. We wanted a garden that would educate and inspire visitors. This was an extremely challenging goal considering the cost of land on the Cape (high) and the contents of our treasury (low).
We got lucky. Shortly after formulating our goal we learned that Heritage Museums & Gardens planned to add a collection of hydrangeas to their existing collections of rhododendrons, hostas, and daylilies. We immediately contacted Jeanie Gillis, the horticulture director, and proposed a partnership. She was openly enthusiastic.
On a lovely day in October of 2007 we walked the grounds with Jeanie, looking for the ideal location. The spot we chose was the site of an old daylily collection which was slated to be moved elsewhere. Our generous members donated the approximately 30 varieties that began the garden, and Joan Brazeau agreed to be our garden designer. The first plants were installed in the spring of 2008. We have added to the original collection on a regular basis ever since that time, always focusing on our twin goals of educating and inspiring visitors to our garden at Heritage.
Our partnership with Heritage has been satisfying and mutually beneficial. We feel grateful to find ourselves in such a beautiful setting, and are happy to do all we can to maintain our garden, to grow our garden, and to act as docents in our garden especially during the annual Cape-wide Hydrangea Festival. Many of the hydrangeas in our display garden could be called heritage hydrangeas in the sense that they are older varieties that are hard to find in contemporary garden centers. We began with macrophyllas because the general public is most familiar with that species, but have added other species over the years, so that we now have substantial collections of serratas, arborescens, paniculatas and quercifolias. It is deeply satisfying to us to see visitors from all over the world appreciating our collection which has been, from the beginning, a labor of love.