Beyond Annabelle -- Hydrangeas Gone Wild
New 2011 Hydrangeas For Your Garden
Over the past few years some very impressive Hydrangeas have been brought to the market. Gone are the days of the classical Anne Belle thanks to plant breeders through out the United States and the world.
Add some mid-season interest to your front landscape border. Use a larger shrub for screening. Design a cottage garden. Take a walk on the wild side.
Hydrangea arborescens 'Invincibelle Spirit'
The classic white 'Annabelle' has now gone pink, thanks to the work of Dr. Tom Ranney at North Carolina State University's Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station.
'Invincibelle Spirit' will reach a mature size of four-feet wide and tall in full sun. Will tolerate shade but with reduced blooms so keep it in the sun with some afternoon shade.
Dark-pink buds open to hot pink during the summer with occasional re-bloom until frost. This plant is a must in the back of a perennial garden or in a cottage garden. Hardy to zone 3.
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Twist n' Shout'
The Hydrangea of all the seasons, Twist n' Shout' has it all thanks to Michael Dirr of the University of Georgia. The show begins in spring when the plant displays its large true-green leaves held on reddish stems making a perfect background for those spring flowers.
Once the spring rush has ended, 'Twist n' Shout' displays its lacy deep-pink sterile centers surrounded by fertile four-petaled ones.
Change the pink to blue if you are so inclined. In acidic soils, aluminum is available and the flowers are blue. In the alkaline soils, aluminum is not available and the flowers are pink.
Easy to care for and hardy to zone 4, Twist-n-Shout is an elegant stand-alone specimen, dramatic in combination with other plants, and compact enough for containers. Will die back to the ground in our climate but comes on quickly in spring. Hardy to zone 4.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Dharuma'
Finally a Pee Gee for a small garden space, reaching only 3-4 feet high and wide.
Numerous terminal upright, white flower-heads appear in early mid summer 4-5 weeks earlier than other selections of the species.
Flowers become a pleasing pink in late summer into fall. Attractive, healthy somewhat leathery dark green foliage contrasts nicely with its white flower-heads.
Plant in full sun under a window sill or in a mixed foundation planting. Hardy to zone 3.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Little Lime'
Now our favorite 'Limelight' just became smaller thanks to a sport discovered from a garden that was then developed by Proven Winners. 'Little Lime' is about a third the size of its parent reaching only three-five feet in size.
Makes for a great accent plant, a mass planting or cut-flower garden. 'Little Lime' produces the same bright cone-shaped lime green flowers, later turning into pink, from mid-summer to frost that are held upright on strong stems.
With its smaller size and tolerance to urban pollution, 'Little Lime' will thrive even in inner city landscapes. Plant in full sun to partial shade to enjoy a summer display where 'Limelight' would have been too large. Hardy to zone 4.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Vanilla Strawberry'
The most anticipated release is 'Vanilla Strawberry.' Its enormous flower panicles bloom pure white and then blend with pink as they age giving the 'Vanilla Strawberry' affect. The flowers are held above glossy green leaves on red stems.
'Vanilla Strawberry' will need some room in a sunny border as a mature plant can reach up to seven feet. The red flower color can last up to four weeks during a time of season when the rest of garden is a sea of green. Developed by Bailey Nursery, it is hardy to zone 4. The 'Must Have Plant' of 2011, get yours early since there is limited availability.
Timothy Heelen / Stone Pocket, Inc.
We would like to thank Bailey Nurseries for providing the beautiful pictures. Used with permission.
Certain Hydrangeas do very well with color change. Here's the formula.
Blue to Pink
Modify your pH by adding dolomite limestone at a rate of about 1 cup per 10 square feet and water it into the soil.
Pink to Blue
Add 1/2 cup of wettable sulfur per 10 square feet and water in.