Plants Raves & Faves

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’
Okay, I'm thinking about spring. I admit it. And about plants, and flowers, and temps above 5 degrees. Hydrangeas, in my mind, are quintessential garden plants, so they are the natural choice for my first plant raves & faves post!

Romantic and evocative of traditional gardens, hydrangeas are too often dismissed as old-fashioned plants out of place in contemporary gardens. For sure, the big blue orbs of Nikko Blue Hydrangeas can be found in all the wrong places, but usually hydrangeas are in perfect garden harmony.

‘Annabelle’ is one of my favorite old-fashioned hydrangeas—it is big, beautiful and exceptionally easy to grow. The flowers start off greenish and tight, expanding into fluffy six to ten inch white balls which make great cut flowers, and are easy to dry.

Basics: Annabelles thrive with morning sun, afternoon shade and moist soil. They should be cut back early March to about 18” in order to control growth and strengthen stems so they can support the heavy flower heads.

Look at http://www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com/annabelle.html for information about growing Annabelle hydrangeas.

Photo credit:
Missouri Botanical Garden

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