What are these leaves? Weeds?
Zone 3a, front of house, Sun from hours of 7am - 11am. About 5 years ago I planted a Panicle hydrangea. The plant is very sparse and underneath in the soil all around it are these little 2-3 leaf sprigs. They are very short, maybe 4 inches at most off the ground. The leaves are not the same shape as the leaves from the hydrangea but I have this gut feeling as though they are coming from the roots of the plant?
The plants below are not Hydrangea, but something that has been self seeded in that area. I am not able to identify it though. I would remove it, you could let one or two mature and maybe identification would be easier if a flower forms.