The best thing about hydrangeas in the fall is their long-blooming flowers. I have several Pee Gee hydrangeas in bloom right now, and the cultivar that looks most impressive is 'Limelight', shown here.
I remember not liking this plant much when I planted a pair of them a couple of years ago. At the time I found the flowers too big and heavy for the size of the shrub. But as the plants have grown – they're now about five feet tall (and they got there very quickly) – their flowers look just right and in scale with the size of the plant.
When ‘Limelight’ comes out, the flower heads are lime-green, but they gradually fade to a pinkish and then tan hues, like most hydrangeas.
My ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea, planted a couple of years ago, is still a tiny thing. First, it suffered in a spot that was too sunny and dry. Then my garden helper pulled it out by mistake and threw it into the compost pile.
I rescued it later that day and kept it very moist in a pot until it recovered. Then we planted it in a shadier spot and it's alive, although still very small, but flowering nicely, (shown here). Will it thrive? The jury is still out on that one.
Anyway, moral of the story: don't be too quick to judge a cultivar. It often takes a couple of seasons for plants to come into their own.
I'm a keen gardener and garden writer and photographer, living on a country property of 10 acres near Hamilton, Ont.
I love ornamental grasses and easy-care, contemporary garden styles. In my garden I try to work with nature, instead of fighting it.
To email me, just change "at" to the usual: country.gardening[at]gmail[dot]com