Hydrangea, especially Paniculata and Arborescens varieties are reliable and easy to grow in Bucks county. I've been very happy with Hydrangea Paniculata Grandiflora and Hydrangea Arborescens Annabelle. But now some new kids on the block with their showy blooms and stronger stems have pushed aside these old, reliable standards. I absolutely love hydrangea limelight. My pee gees are nice but the Limelights are better in almost every respect, the color, a pale lime green is spectacular, the blooms are bigger and the stems are strong enough to keep the flowers out of the mud when it rains. Another new, stronger Paniculata is Quick Fire. This one blooms a month before the others and in my garden is ready to cut now. Hydrangea Annabelle has also been improved upon with two new hybrids that I've fallen in love with. Hydrangea Invincibelle Spirit is the first pink Annabelle Hydrangea. What a beauty she is too. The flowers are a lovely shade of rosy pink which just melts my heart when I look at them. Hydrangea Incrediball really is an incredible plant. It's an Annabelle on steroids! The flowers are 12" inches across and produce flowers all summer on thick strong stems that don't break. All these large flowers will be great for chuppahs, wedding arches and other, showy arrangements.
I've also invested in two new hydrangea macrophylla varieties. Let's dance starlight and Let's dance moonlight. These pink varieties bloom reliably every year on new and old wood which means I don't have to worry about losing the blooms to a late frost or an intern with an over zealous urge to prune every shrub in sight. ( It has happened ). I cut the first few blooms this morning. Just five flowers made a perfect bridal bouquet. Macrophylla Hydrangea don't grow as quickly as the Paniculata or Arborescens Hydrangeas so I will have to be patient and wait a few years before I get armloads of flowers. In the meantime I have some very pretty Niko Blue Hydrangeas which will be ready to cut next week. BTW, deer will eat hydrangea if they're hungry enough. I found out the hard way last week. Lucky for me I planted most of my hydrangea inside the deer fence.
Dahlias will be blooming soon but that's another story.
Visit me this Saturday at Doylestown or Rittenhouse square farmers' market to take home some of these beautiful, new varieties of Hydrangea flowers.