Recommend a hydrangea?

anele_gwJuly 28, 2010

I am a complete novice gardener but quickly fell in love, love, love with hydrangeas. (Even my 3 y.o. will point them out on walks.)

I am looking for one or two for a small bed. I would prefer one that is about 4-5 feet as a foundation shrub. The area gets sun from the east. My ideal would be something with some winter interest. . .but if I had to pick winter interest vs. repeat blooms, I'd go with the repeat blooms.

Right now I have a Blushing Bride and ES in the spot and I love them. First year in the ground (2 gallon when I bought them this yr) and they are rewarding me with huge blooms. However, in this area, it seems that they just don't get tall enough.

I'm thinking of Limelight, but am open to suggestions! I know LL gets big, but I read here that the growth charts are for 10 years' worth . . .I don't even know if I'll live in this house that long!

Thanks so much!

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Me again! I am also thinking about Snow Queen. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 10:09PM
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Hello anele- it's great to have another new convert! As far as winter interest goes, unfortunately hydrangeas don't have much to offer, as almost all of them go dormant during the cold months. I would typically recommend Hyd. arborescens (like 'Annabelle') or Hyd. paniculata (like 'Limelight') to my customers in zone 5; or rebloomers like your ES and Blushing Bride. Snow Queen could be a bit of a challenge in zone 5, though it could certainly be done with some winter coverage for the first couple of years, but I think it would want near full sun.

You might take a look at one of the dwarf peegees like 'Little Lamb', which will stay smaller than 'Limelight'. You could also try Annabelle or another arborsecens, if you don't have any yet- they are truly gorgeous, tough shrubs- and would be happy with less light than the paniculatas. As far as regular old mopheads, stick to the rebloomers, unless you've got a really protected spot. They are all fairly similar, though, and many of them would look and act just like your 'Endless Summer'.

Hopefully this will help some, though- good luck!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 1:02AM
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Thank you, wild! As a novice I go solely by the zone recommendations I find, but most places don't go into detail regarding winter protection. (And I know I won't do that!)

Little Lamb is on my list of possibilities . . .any idea how long it would take to get to at least 4 ft in my zone (5)?

What about Vanilla Strawberry? Would that work?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 1:33AM
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Thanks, unique! I was not even familiar with Tardiva until I just looked it up now . . .Dharuma sounds great except I want something closer to 4-5 ft, so not sure it would work.

Good to hear about Little Lambs . . .definitely on the list!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 11:59PM
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