Having bemoaned the lack of hydrangea blooms this summer - and I have truly missed them! - now comes the newest addition to the yard.
A 'Vanilla Strawberry' hydrangea that I planted last fall, and frankly had not counted on its blooming this year.
Although it's a "panical" hydrangea and so new to me, it blooms on new wood and therefore escaped the last freeze of the winter that killed all the buds on the mopheads and lacecaps. Even in its first year, it is blooming. This variety typically grows 6-10 feet in height and diameter, so I put it where it can serve as a "barrier plant" between our yard and our neighbor's.
When fully mature, the panicals should open white and then "age" to darker shades of pink to strawberry - eventually producing a shrub full of multi-colored flowers.
What's not to love about that?