Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Annabelle

'Annabelle,' the old-fashioned hydrangea favorite (that has many interesting new relatives), is tougher than you think. It's extremely popular in waterfront communities, where the sun and wind off the water can flatten less hearty types.

Annabelle

'Annabelle,' the old-fashioned hydrangea favorite (that has many interesting new relatives), is tougher than you think. It's extremely popular in waterfront communities, where the sun and wind off the water can flatten less hearty types.

Experts always tell us to mass plants, to install more than one of each type of plant, for maximum dramatic oomph. This was along the side of our Bristol, R.I., bed and breakfast. Quite an oomph, I'd say!

Technically known as Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle,' this variety produces heads that measure 10 inches across and, in addition to its stunning good looks, is favored for its tendency to bloom year after year even if it's pruned back severely or subjected to extremely cold winters.

So even if you can't grow the blue mopheads (Bristol is blessed with loads of these, as well), you can try your luck with 'Annabelle.' Or, rather, a whole row of 'Annabelles.'

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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