Favorites: Annabelle, Whie Dome
For big snowball blooms that mature into a lovely sage green in the fall (perfect for wreaths and all kinds of seasonal decorations), choose the handsome Hydrangea arborescens “Annabelle,” also known as a Smooth Hydrangea, a descendent of the Eastern Seaboard’s native hydrangea that still grow in the wild. The flowers are a lovely chartreuse green in the spring—much cherished by flower arrangers—before turning a creamy white with airy flowers. Today’s cultivated “Annabelle” variety has big white bouquets that bloom all season long, eventually reverting to a beautiful soft green in the autumn. “Annabelle” blossoms work especially well in wreaths and dry beautifully. (Check out our wreath-making blog at capecodlife.com/2011/11/simple-hydrangea-wreath to learn how to make a dried hydrangea wreath.)
Favorites: Snow Queen, Alice, Snowflake, Pee Wee Compact
Lastly, there is the Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), which is a large shrub with oakleaf-shaped foliage and white-mounded flowers that needs a lot of space to flourish. Oakleafs do well in the far corners of borders or off alone with room to sprawl, adding a distinct shape and handsome foliage to tree and shrub beds. The “Pee Wee Compact” variety (three feet by three feet) is a great addition for small spaces where unusual foliage and dramatic flowers are needed.