I have heard from some people whose location was kept rather mild for a winter but then things cooled below 20 degrees and all unprotected hydrangeas suffered. How did yours do?
Thanks to El Nin~o, this was my most weird hydrangea winter. Some sub-freezing weather but close to 32. No sleet, no snow and a sprinkle of ice in the city but not in my area. In late January, I had camellias, azaleas, quince and roses blooming. Hydrangeas started to leaf out from month end in Jan thru early March. Mopheads and lacecaps leafed out first. Beat the akleafs by a mere week though. Oakleaf hydrangeas bloomed earliest, in April, mopheads and lacecaps followed suit and paniculatas are now in the broccoli stage.