Do you like cutsie plant names? On the Garden Writers list-serve I belong to there's been a lively exchange about Pink Winky, the new hydrangea (shown left) that's being promoted heavily this season.
Pink Winky is a Pee Gee cultivar with big two-toned, white and pink flowers. According to Proven Winners, the plant has "strong upright red stems that hold the large, 12-16 inch blooms up so you never get the drooping Pee Gee Hydrangea look. The flower heads continue to grow throughout the season and as the older flowers turn dark pink the new flowers continue to emerge white. The effect is stunning."
The plant was bred by Dr. Johan Van Huylenbroeek at the Flemish DVP breeding station of Belgium, and it's said the name Pinky Winky was dedicated to his son, whose favorite Teletubby character was Tinky Winky.
Garden writers opinions on the name ranged from from: "Is it just me, or would anyone else here refuse to grow a plant named Pinky Winky just because the name makes your teeth hurt? - to: "I can't wait to take my grandson on a tour of my garden and introduce him to Pinky Winky. A few cutsie names sprinkled here and there are not a bad thing." Opinions in general leaned to the negative side.
For the record, I don't love the name. As for the plant, I'll have to give it a try. And the name is a trade mark, Pinky Winky™ - so if you hate it, you can always call it the cultivar name, 'DVPpinky', instead.
The Canadian government's food inspection agency, which (go figure) also covers plants being imported, has an interesting comparison between the Pinky Winky and the cultivar 'Pink Diamond' on its web site.
I've tried 'Pink Diamond' and found that it wasn't very pink, so it sounds like the new one is definitely worth seeking out if you're looking for a showy hardy hydrangea.
© Yvonne Cunnington, Country Gardener
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