One of my top favourite plants is Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’.  Super hardy, it has up to 10″ pure white heads.  The heads start off lime, move through pure white and end up crispy pale browned.  It has lime-ish coloured leaves, stays at 3-4′, and blooms on new wood.  I had a river of them in my old garden and plan to create another flow of them up the slope once the rains start in the fall.

But, for now, I have inherited a few others:


Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ trained to a standard
Tiny little Hydrangea serrata ‘O-amacha Nishiki’ bought at UBC plant sale last spring. Liking the shade, loves some water, lovely variegated leaves, flowers were pink-ish.
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Invincibelle Spirit’ in its first season….not quite sure if I like it
NOID hydrangea – Ayesha??


Hydrangeas do really well in the PNW. They like shade, ok with a bit of drought, and the deer are staying away from my mature plants.  The newbies need a bit of protecting it appears.  The bonus is that the flowers dry really well and hold in there through the winter…on the plants or cut and brought into the house.

Dried arrangement – Hydrangea 3 ways, peony and crocosmia seed heads

Author: joannewesterby

Although I lived in Ontario for 25 years, Vancouver Island has always been home to me. 15 years ago we bought a "little house on the prairie" in Brant County, just outside Hamilton, Ancaster and Brantford, Ontario. Over the years, with a lot of sweat, determination, luck, skill, frustration, elation and endurance we turned that 2 acre clay field into an amazing oasis...as chronicled in Through Leaves. When we recently retired we immediately came back 'home' to the Coast. We have settled in beautiful central Vancouver Island at the edge of Nanaimo on 1/2 acre with a mature shrub garden adjacent to a ravine that winds its way up to Westwood Lake and eventually Mount Benson. Although the garden is mature and gorgeous...it is very overgrown, too homogenous for my liking and needs my personal stamp! I am dizzy with the possibilities!!!

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