Posted: 12/10/2016 at 14:14
I've delved down to the bottom of the hydrangea and have found that there's one stem right in the centre which goes up, branches out, and these long stems are all coming from that. There didn't appear to be any visual difference between the stems at the base though, but perhaps down there there wouldn't be and they'd all just look kind of brown/grey anyway.
I've also looked at pictures of the cotoneaster lacteus and there's a definite resemblance but I've never had white flowers and there's no sign of any berries appearing and the back of my leaves are green and veiny pretty much like the hydrangeas, only smaller.
However, I am now wondering if you could be right about this.
But the question remains as to what to do about it.
If I leave it will it just take over the hydrangea, eventually killing it? Should I just cut it all out which seems to be a shame as it's gone to all the trouble to grow in the first place. Plus it looks to be a very nice shrub which the birds would enjoy. Or should I dig the whole thing up and try to separate it, which might not be easy or even possible?
Many thanks to you all for helping me with this, I do appreciate it, particularly as we live in an area where gardening can be pretty challenging at times and every plant is important.