Carolina Silverbell is one of our loveliest native trees, becoming covered with 1" white bells hanging from branches in April and May. The bark is an added element, varying from gray to brown with darker vertical striations. The flowers are followed by interesting brown 4 winged fruits which are also pendent, persisting into the winter. Halesia is a difficult B&B transplant, so we have focused on growing landscape sized plants in containers. Carolina Silverbell grows particularly well in woodland settings and along stream sides.
'February Gold' Chinese Witchhazel has bright yellow flowers, set off by red calyces. The fragrance is excellent, as is its habit of dropping its winter leaves well before it flowers. Credit for its reappearance in the gardening world goes to Paul Meyer of the Morris Arboretum of Philadelphia who had received it from our father, William Flemer III, a long time ago.
'Amethyst' Vernal Witchhazel has fragrant lavender-purple flowers appearing in late winter and early spring, followed by coppery new growth. Good orange and yellow fall color. Hamamelis vernalis 'Amethyst' is also salt and wet site tolerant. Great as a cut branch in the house for a spring "pick-me-up". Found by Tim Brotzman of Ohio and named by Don Shadow.
PRN Preferred: The purple flowers are a very unusual color for Witchhazels.
Autumn Embers™ (‘KLMNINETEEN’) Vernal Witchhazel is a lovely selection of our native shrub that was selected by Roy Klehm for its excellent fall color. The foliage varies from red purple to yellow orange, depending on the fall temperatures, with the more vivid colors appearing in northern locations. The additional gift from Autumn Embers™ Witchhazel is its small fragrant orange flowers in February and March. All Hamamelis vernalis have proven to be both salt and wet site tolerant.
'Barmstedt Gold' Witchhazel has large golden yellow fragrant flowers in late winter. The fall foliage on Hamamelis x intermedia 'Barmstedt Gold' is yellow. This is considered to be one of the finest yellow Witchhazels available, and we agree.
'Jelena' Witchhazel has copper-orange fragrant flowers in late winter and yellow-orange fall foliage. It was named for Jelena de Belder, and has won numerous awards in Europe. This is our freind Andrew Bunting's favorite Hamamelis.
Seven-Son Flower has fragrant white flowers, followed by striking red calyxes in mid summer and fall. The exfoliating bark of Heptacodium miconioides adds winter interest. A good substitute for a Crapemyrtle in a more northern climate. We have found Heptacodiums thriving in both Vermont and Maine.
'Annabelle' Smooth Hydrangea has white snowball flowers in June and July, a classic plant from Joe McDaniel. Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' is considered by many to be somewhat deer resistant! Bruce Cole recommends a late spring gentle trimming to delay the flower period and reduce the flopping. Smooth Hydrangeas are salt tolerant.
'Haas Halo' Smooth Hydrangea was selected by Rick Ray of Pennsylvania for its extraordinarily large white lacecap flowers. They are produced for a long period in mid summer, and are displayed on sturdy stems which do not flop, unlike many mopheads. 'Haas Halo' is tolerant of full sun as long as good moisture is consistently present, and its 14" flowers make lovely cut or dried flowers. Excellent for a natural look along woodland edges. 2020 PHS Gold Medal Plant!
The very large white mophead flowers of Incrediball® ('Abetwo') Smooth Hydrangea appear in June and July. Flowers age to a lovely chartreuse-green before turning tan, and are great in dried arrangements.
Incrediball® 'Blush' ('NCHA4') Smooth Hydrangea is a color breakthrough, with large soft pink mophead flowers supported by strong stems. As the blooms mature, they change to shades of light green. Incrediball® 'Blush' is attractive as a cut flower as well as in dried arrangements. All Smooth Hydrangeas benefit from a good pruning in late winter, since they bloom on new growth.
Invincibelle Garnetta™ (‘NCHA6’) Smooth Hydrangea comes from the work of Dr. Tom Ranney of NC State University. The blooms appear in early summer, emerging in garnet shades which mature to a good deep pink. Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle Garnetta™ starts blooming somewhat later than other Smooth Hydrangeas, and will rebloom sporadically through the summer, especially if spent blooms are removed. The color is a standout, and the habit is neat and compact.
Invincibelle Wee White® (‘NCHA5’) Smooth Hydrangea is the first dwarf Annabelle Hydrangea, from the Proven Winners breeding program. The flowers emerge from soft pink buds which rapidly mature to white mopheads on strong short stems. Hydrangea Invincibelle Wee White® starts blooming in June and reblooms sporadically all summer, especially if deadheaded. The dried flower heads are attractive, and this compact mounding beauty would be a great patio container plant for partial shade locations.
BloomStruck® Endless Summer® Bigleaf Hydrangea ('PIIH-II') has large blue or rose-pink mophead flowers, depending on the soil pH. Since it is a rebloomer, the flower display continues all summer. The blooms are held on red-purple stems, and the glossy green foliage is set-off by dark red petioles and veins. An excellent new introduction from Dr. Michael Dirr showing good mildew resistance as well as great flower power.
PRN Preferred: The thicker leaf handles the heat/sun better than other macrophyllas, stronger stems and more intense flower color. We prefer BloomStruck over Endless Summer®.
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blue Wave' is a variety of Big Leaf Hydrangea that has large blue lacecap flowers in June and July. It is also salt tolerant. as are most Big Leaf Hydrangeas. One of the great aspects of lacecap Hydrangeas is that, unlike 'Mopheads', their flowers never flop in the rain.
Endless Summer® ('Bailmer') The Original Hydrangea has large pink or blue mophead flowers and blooms all summer on new growth. The pH level in the soil largely determines the flower color. From Dr. Dirr and Bailey Nurseries. It is also salt tolerant.
'Forever Pink' Bigleaf Hydrangea has large pink mophead flowers in June and July with thick textured green leaves. The thick cuticle of the leaf margins makes Hydrangea macrophylla 'Forever Pink' more sun tolerant than many Hydrangeas. A lovely Hydrangea for seaside plantings.
'Glowing Embers' Bigleaf Hydrangea has larger crimson-purple mophead flowers over lustrous, thick textured leaves. Thought by many (including Dr. Michael Dirr) to be the same as H. 'Alpenglow' the depth of its flower color changes to more purple than red in the presence of higher soil acidity. Salt tolerant and sun tolerant.
Magical® ‘Ruby Red’ (‘Kolmaru’) has large red mophead flowers displayed over very dark green foliage from early summer up to fall. This beautiful sturdy Hydrangea is from Kolster BV in the Netherlands, and is introduced into the US by Plants Nouveau. Hydrangea macrophylla Magical® ‘Ruby Red’ is a rebloomer (old wood and new), and the flowers take on shades of dusty wine red and green as they age. The relatively compact habit and sun tolerant dark green foliage make this at home in a wide variety of sites.
Summer Crush® ('Bailmacfive') Endless Summer® Bigleaf Hydrangea blooms throughout the summer, producing lots of raspberry red to vivid purple mophead flowers. The habit is compact, with glossy dark green leaves that tolerate sun well. Hydrangea Summer Crush® is a new exciting rebloomer form Bailey Nurseries, resulting from the work of Dr Michael Dirr with reblooming Hydrangea.
'Tokyo Delight' Bigleaf Hydrangea is a beautiful lacecap with large white sterile florets on the edge and blue fertile flowers in the center of the flowers. Blooms age to a lovely, long lasting rose color. Hydrangea macrophylla 'Tokyo Delight' is tough as nails and a reliable bloomer every year.
PRN Preferred: Very tolerant of cold winters, consistently blooming lacecap.
A new exciting offering from Dr. Michael Dirr and Bailey Nurseries, Hydrangea macrophylla Twist 'n' Shout® ('PIIHM-I') Endless Summer® is a cross between Endless Summer® and Lady in Red™ and is a reblooming deep pink lacecap with red stems. Fall color is also colorful, turning a striking burgundy-red. Bruce Cole of Jackson, New Jersey finds that it is a very floriferous rebloomer. It is also salt tolerant.
Bobo® ('ILVOBO') Hardy Hydrangea is dwarf in habit without sacrificing the number of flowers it produces. The rounded blooms start as large lime green balls in late June and progress through clear white to shades of soft pink as they mature. The flowers persist through most of the summer, and the dwarf habit of Hydrangea paniculata Proven Winners® Color Choice® Bobo® makes it an excellent addition to mixed perennial borders as well as foundation plantings. Developed in Belgium by Dr. Johan Van Huylenbroek.
PRN Preferred: We're impressed by the number and beauty of the blooms, especially when combined with its compact habit.
Finally, a Pee Gee Hydrangea for a small garden space! Hydrangea paniculata 'Dharuma's flowers come very early in summer, and rapidly turn from white to rose. Like the plant, the flowers are smaller than other varieties of H. paniculata, and somewhat open. We like it because even the young branches are strong enough to support the flowers, so they are upright and visible, not floppy. when in bloom. The RHS's recent trials put this as a hybrid between H. paniculata and H. heteromala.
Fire Light™ (‘SMHPFL’) Hardy Hydrangea is a compact form of Pee Gee Hydrangeas, with creamy white flowers starting in early July. The blooms age to striking shades of dark rose red, particularly if Hydrangeas Fire Light™ is trimmed a little in May (it postpones the bloom production). The cooler the weather and the shorter the daylight, the deeper the pink to red color. All Pee Gee Hydrangeas are very cold hardy, but the compact size of Fire Light™ makes this useful in tighter spaces that cannot take huge shrubs.
Lime-green panicle flowers of Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' emerge in July and age in August to white and rose-pink. One of the best of the Pee Gee Hydrangeas, from Pieter Zwijnenburg, Jr.
Little Lime® ('Jane') Hardy Hydrangea has the lovely chartreuse-to-white flowers of H. 'Limelight', but on a more compact plant. Its diminutive size makes it a better choice for a small garden application without losing the striking effect of the large colorful panicles in July and August.
Little Quick Fire® ('SMHPLQF') Hardy Hydrangea is suited to smaller gardens because of its shorter statue. The blooms start out white in June and age to dusty pink by late in the summer. The color is more intense in cooler weather, so trimming Hydrangea paniculata Proven Winners® Color Choice® Little Quick Fire® back moderately in June will promote this by delaying the start of flowering. Hardy Hydrangeas are valuable ornamentals because of their lengthy bloom period, and they also make excellent cut or dried flowers.
Quick Fire® ('Bulk') Hardy Hydrangea is a very early blooming Pee Gee Hydrangea. Flowers start out white in June and age to deep pink by mid summer. From Mark Bulk in Holland. Ronni Hock of Lawrenceville says it is her favorite because of the lovely red stems. This is Dick Karkalits' favorite Pee Gee Hydrangea becasue it blooms very early and the aged panicles hold up well into October.
Strawberry Sundae® ('Rensun') First Editions® Hardy Hydrangea is a compact version of Bailey's beautiful Hydrangea Vanilla Strawberry™. The white cone-shaped panicles appear in July and rapidly take on lovely shades of deep strawberry pink as they age. Hydrangea paniculata blooms for an extended period, often up to the start of fall, so the bloom display often includes both white and vivid pink. Strawberry Sundae™ originated in France, from the breeding work of Jean Renault.
Vanilla Strawberry™ ('Renhy') First Editions® Hardy Hydrangea starts its bloom cycle with enormous creamy-white, cone-shaped panicles that age through soft pink to a bright reddish rose. Since the plant produces new blooms for an extended period, Vanilla Strawberry™ has a three-toned effect. From Bailey Nurseries, Inc. of Minnesota, who got it from the Renault Nursery in France.
PRN Preferred: We love the intensity of the pink color as the flowers age.
'Amethyst' Oakleaf Hydrangea has upright white panicles that age to a gorgeous wine red, retaining this color even when used as a dried cut flower. The branching is denser and more upright than other Oakleafs, making this cultivar more suitable for smaller gardens. The fall color is an added asset, turning a lovely burgundy-red. Another great selection by the Hydrangea king, Dr. Michael Dirr, which we first admired at the Scott Arboretum.
Gatsby Pink® ('JoAnn') Oakleaf Hydrangea starts blooming in June, producing large white upright panicles. As the flowers age, they take on shades of pink which are attractive for a lengthy time throughout the summer. The disease free green foliage takes on shades of red and burgundy in the fall, and as Hydrangea Gatsby Pink® matures, the exfoliating tan bark adds winter interest.
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Pee Wee' has white panicle flowers in June and July and is a compact form of the Oakleaf Hydrangea. It has burgundy-red fall foliage. Introduction by Aldrich Nursery in Alabama. One of our favorite Oakleaf Hydrangeas, because the foliage is so neat and clean.
PRN Preferred: All the great attributes of an Oakleaf Hydrangea but in compact form.
Snow Queen™ ('Flemygea') Oakleaf Hydrangea has upright white panicle flowers and burgundy-red fall foliage. Hydrangea quercifolia Snow Queen™ was introduced by noted plantsman, William Flemer III. All the Oakleaf Hydrangeas show some deer resistance.
PRN Preferred: Flowers have an upright habit so they stand out above the foliage.
‘Snowcicle’ Oakleaf Hydrangea comes from Richard Davis, and has 12” panicles of double white florets. The long vigorous blooms change to a combination of creamy white, soft green and dusty rose as they mature, giving the flowers an interesting tricolor effect. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowcicle’ has sturdy stems supporting the very large inflorescences. Similar to Hydrangea Snowflake, it also makes a good dried flower.
'Snowflake' ('Brido') Oakleaf Hydrangea has sterile younger florets which emerge from the older florets for an extended period, resulting in a strikingly long, multi-colored panicle. The new florets are white and the older ones are a dusty pink, working well as a unique landscape plant. Red-purple fall foliage. Makes an extraordinary dried flower.
'Blue Billow' Sawtooth Hydrangea blooms in June, producing plentiful blue lacecap flowers for an extended period. The habit is compact, and the neat green foliage turns bronzy in fall. Hydrangea 'Blue Billow' is one of the most cold tolerant serratas. A lovely introduction from Dr. Dick Lightly formerly at Mt. Cuba Center.
'Blue Bird' Sawtooth Hydrangea has blue lacecap flowers starting in June. The leaves are larger and rounder than H. 'Blue Billow'. A very hardy Hydrangea, with excellent cold tolerance.
PRN Preferred: Very cold tolerant so the Hydrangea blooms reliably even after a bad winter.
'Preziosa' (syn. 'Pink Beauty') Sawtooth Hydragea has pink mophead flowers in June and July, followed by good burgundy fall foliage. The cold tolerance of Hydrangea serrata 'Preziosa' is excellent, as is its sun tolerance.
Tuff Stuff Ah-Ha™ ('SMNHSDD') Sawtooth Hydrangea is a very showy reblooming lacecap in the Tuff Stuff series. The short statue does not limit the number of large flowers, as Hydrangea Ah-Ha™ is a heavy bloomer on both old and new wood. Since it is a serrata, its cold tolerance is also an advantage. The double sterile florets vary in color from pink to purple, depending on the soil pH and amount of aluminum sulfate.
The small yellow flowers of 'Gemo' St Johnswort are produced for an extended period through July and August, appearing in profusion on a neat compact shrub covered with narrow green leaves. The seed capsules sound like little rattles when brushed against or moved by the wind. We love the delicate overall effect of this tough native.
PRN Preferred: Flowers for an extremely long period of time, a workhorse in the garden.
Dr. Paul Cappiello of Yew Dell Gardens in Kentucky selected Blue Velvet™ ('CCFLPC-1') St Johnswort, a blue-leaved seedling of H. kalmiatum. The attractive small-leaved foliage of Hypericum x Blue Velvet™ is set off by lovely bright yellow flowers for an extended period in mid summer. The name 'Blue Velvet' fits the appearance of this lovely introduction perfectly.