Annual Hydrangea Show: A Virtual Visit
Celebrate the arrival of the spring season with a virtual visit to our Annual Hydrangea Show at the Floral Showhouse!
This special edition of an iconic favourite marks the 75th anniversary of the Floral Showhouse with a stunning display of colourful springtime blossoms.
The Annual Hydrangea Show is Niagara Parks’ longest running floral exhibit, reaching as far back as 1947. While we had hoped to share our first floral exhibit of the year “The Bright Spring” with our guests in person we hope you enjoy this virtual visit to the Showhouse and we look forward to hosting you back at Niagara Parks soon!
Connection is always at the heart of every floral design. The process begins by selecting a theme, three years before a new display is cultivated. This year, our show features 350 hydrangeas and companion plants in brilliant hues of red, pink, blue and white. Our hope with each display is to offer you an opportunity to connect with the art of horticulture in a meaningful and unique way.
Putting the show together
The Annual Hydrangea Show is one of the most spectacular at Niagara Parks, it’s also one of the shortest to produce. Most of the hydrangeas displayed are between five and 10 years of age. Our horticulture experts begin preparing the hydrangeas in the fall season to produce beautiful blooms in the spring. It takes about one week for our team of growers to install the show in the North and Centre houses. They begin by dismantling the previous display and cleaning the beds. Large plants are selected and placed followed by small, supporting plants. About 10% of the plants grown for each display are kept in our greenhouses to ensure the show is always picture-perfect.
The hydrangea, or H. macrophylla, is native to Japan and unlike the larger, North American species, they grow to be medium sized. Their leaves are vibrant and glossy, and their gorgeous blooms are easy to force which is why they are perfect for spring and Mother’s Day. These flowers are truly spectacular with their bold, colourful blooms in shades of red, pink, blue and white. At Niagara Parks, you’ll discover two types of hydrangeas; those with a flattened centre of showy flowers and those with a snowball appearance made up of brightly coloured petals.
Enjoy a peaceful moment inside the Floral Showhouse with a panoramic view of the 2021 Hydrangea Show.Watch
Did you know you can dramatically change the colour of hydrangeas? At Niagara Parks, we use a special technique that allows us to alter the colour of the flower of our blue and pink varieties. The pigments in the two varieties react with metals such as aluminum. Lowering the pH of the blue flower results in a much deeper hue; raising the pH results in a darker pink.
Caring for Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas are generally worry-free plants that prefer moist, rich, well-drained soil and partial sunlight. Most plants bloom between June to August and require light pruning to maintain their shape.
One of the challenges in caring for hydrangeas is “setting the flower bud.” Our growers need to force the hydrangeas required for the annual show to bloom at a specific time, meaning this stunning variety needs 100 days to sleep before its big debut in the Floral Showhouse.
Caring for the Annual Hydrangea Show requires daily attention to watering and overall plant vitality. Every day, our team observes the exhibit to ensure it meets our high standard and to provide a picture-perfect experience for our guests.
Celebrating 75 Years!
For 75 years, visitors have come to discover paradise at the lush oasis of the Floral Showhouse, just a short walk south from Niagara Falls and Table Rock Centre. Collections of orchids, succulents, and other tropical plant species are on display throughout the year, along with floral shows that reflect the changing seasons.