Smooth hydrangeas

(Hydrangea arborescens)

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 to learn how to make a dried hydrangea wreath.)

Hydrangea Days

Oakleaf hydrangeas

(Hydrangea quercifolia)

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.

Hydrangea Days Hydrangea Days
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Susan Dewey is the associate publisher and editor of Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME, and Cape Cod ART. She lives in Centerville on Cape Cod and enjoys gardening, sailing, walking on the beach, gallery hopping, cooking with fresh seafood, and exploring Cape Cod and the Islands from shore to shore.

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