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Hydrangea Heaven

Some of their names are almost as lovely as the flowers themselves!

Hydrangea paniculata 'Vanille Fraise'.

Fall is an excellent time to add to your repertoire of hydrangea shrubs.

The hybridizers working with hydrangeas have been so busy that there are many different types, sizes and colors now available. There are so many new hydrangeas that it almost boggles the mind. But if you love hydrangeas, as most gardeners do, plant at least one new one this fall and maybe one next fall too.

They are such rewarding shrubs as the flowers are so showy, and they last on the bush for a long time. If you don’t have a lot of space, try the small, easy-to-grow ‘Bobo’, hardy in zones 4 through 8. It matures to only 2½ to 3 feet high with white flower panicles that mature to pink.

A similar paniculata shrub produces white panicles that mature to ruby red is ‘Firelight’, which grows 4 to 6 feet high and as wide.

‘Fire and Ice’ grows just 3 to 5 feet high and has creamy flower panicles that change to pink and then to magenta.

‘Limelight’ grows larger at 6 to 8 feet wide and as high, and its panicles start out chartreuse and then they turn white and finally pink in zones 4 to 8. ‘Little Lime’ is a dwarf form of ‘Limelight’.

Some additional options of hydrangeas with pink blossoms are ‘Strawberry Sundae’, ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ and ‘Ruby Slippers’. Their names are almost as lovely as the flowers themselves.

Note: Panicles are cone-shaped flower heads. Round flower heads are called mopheads.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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