Weigela or Hydrangea?
I would like your opinion on whether I should put in a variegated weigela or a hydrangea for zone 7 (very close to Washington D.C.) It would be a specimen plant.
I have a small (townhouse) front yard facing north with full sun, good ol' Virginia clay/construction leftovers, and a $20 gift certificate for Spring Hill Nursery burning a hole in my pocket. The specific varieties I'm looking at are (weigela) W. Florida 'Variegata' and (hydrangea) H. macrophlla 'Homigo'. (Or 'Hobella', but I've got blues in the siberian iris so I'd rather go w/ the Homigo.)
There is space for either plant assuming a 5' spread. I'm just not sure which one might do better in this area. (What I *really* wanted was a lilac, but I've already been told those don't do well here.) I can double-dig the clay if necessary - already did so on the 3' x 20' bed, which nearly killed me. Or I could build up with timber or cottage stone to make a raised bed for it. Or both.
A few considerations are that I don't want to use any chemicals -- I sometimes grow veggies/herbs right out there in the front yard -- and I am somewhat allergic to bees. That right there has me leaning a little toward the hydrangea, but the weigela looks so lovely... and from what I can tell, it's also is bird-friendly, and I like that aspect too.
As far as I can tell (I'm not a very experienced gardener) either of these plants would do alright here. I just don't know if there are any hidden considerations that I am missing.
Sorry if I'm sopping up bandwidth; any responses will be greatly appreciated.