They are one of my success stories whether in pots or planted in my sad excuse for well drained soil (sandy).
Here they are in all their glory.
I've seen this one in shades of pink, lavender and in acid soil, blue. Very lovely lace cap.
This woodland form has pink lace cap flower heads that showcase the distinctive red edging. The new foliage also holds a burgundy color for a long while.
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Madame Emile Mouillere'
This mophead blooms on old and new wood so would be a great choice here in NC as it would be oblivious to our sometimes "late frosts". The flowers start off white and end up with a tinge of blue or pink depending on the acidity of the soil. It also tolerates sun more than most hydrangea. The foliage is known to put on lovely fall colors of red, orange and green.
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Tovelit'
This one is a dwarf mophead so would be great for a small garden. Of course color will be dictated by soil acidity.
We have an incredible selection of hydrangea here at Big Bloomers. For the novice gardener we could possibly be Hydrangea Heaven. I've never seen a selection as large as ours in one place before. We grow them in four and six inch pots. Planted out in the garden whether in pots or in the ground they happily fulfill their duties without too much drama. If they need water they will certainly tell you and they are the only shrub in my gardens that will carry out their duties whether I am completely oblivious to their needs or not. I've been increasingly impressed by their versatility and "ready to please and prosper nature".