I only have Quickfire to fit the bill, curious if anyone has additional favorites.
I have 'Tardiva' and like it very much. I also planted 'Dharuma' last spring, but it's much too small to tell much about it yet.
laceyvail~Please comment on the bloom color of your 'Dharuma', do you like it, what colors complement it in fall, etc. TIA! :)
prairiegirl, it's too small to bloom. Ask me next year!
I was thinking about the Tardiva...I've seen a few in my area that look quite stunning right now.
If its not Tardiva, its Unique. I didn't look at them up close.
My local nursery is telling me Kyushu is perferred over Tardiva because it blooms earlier and at a younger age for the plant...then I red that the rosy color change is quite weak.
ANGEL'S BLUSH!!! ... 2nd to QF!!! ... quite upright canes in my collection of 9!
I ended up chosing Tardiva, but Angel's Blush was my second choice. I just couldn't find any with the exception of a #1 cnt.
I have 6 Quickfire's so I am set there...one my favorite shrubs.
Twist and Shout may soon take over. First year flowers were pretty weak, but if they flower nicely next year...wow, what a shrub.
They are starting to exhibit an awesome vibrant burgandy foilage...something close to an Itea!
My Snow Mountain hydrangea tree has stems and blooms that remain completely upright even after a huge rainstorm! Yes, it tolerates full sun here in zone 5b too.
In our similar zones, as much as I love my (Princess) Kyushu tree, she does not blossom any earlier than my 2 Tardivas in full/sun ... also does not turn pink like Tardivas do ... she turns creamy-lime, which I love as well!
'Hope this helps!!!
I have about all the recent introductions
A couple of Mike Dirr's "Select Seedlings"
and Pink Diamond is my best plant by far - sturdy and strong upright vigorous stems with large pink blooms that last what seems like forever.
Surprised to hear that on the Pink Diamond. My Quickfire began with the creamy white blooms the third week of June.
Here is a pic from today, 9/17. She has the dark pink and there even some new white blooms. Crazy...approaching 90 days with blooms!!
This is by far the longest blooming shrub I've seen (besides a shrub rose).
I may have to try a Pink Diamond...I have an east exposed area. Althought its small, Oakleaf Hydrangea is just begging to get in my landscape.
I would like to suggest a little project if you have the space and time. Try growing H. paniculata from seed. Gather the seed in Oct-Nov by placing a dried flower head in a zip-lok bag and shake. Tilt the bag so a corner is down and the dust you see in the bottom is the seed. Clean away all the chaff and store the seed in a cool place until you're ready to sow. Seed germinates in 7-10 days and a first year plant can be 12-14 inches tall depending on how many times you pinch back the new growth. I usually repot 4 times during the first year growing season. I suggest a cold frame the first winter and plant out the following spring. Protect from deer if they are around. The plant may bloom that year, but the key here is to get some growth and structure. Will definitely bloom the next year and third year some plants should grow to 4-5 feet tall. This is very easy to do and the differences in plants is fun to watch. I use Pink Diamond seed exclusively for this and grow some every year. I also am a volunteer grower for an arboretum and we did this with four different seed sources and now have a bed of 55 in their 4th year. Lots of differences in these plants and many mimic the cultivars we are now seeing in the retail trade.
If you need a seed source, email me and I can provide you with plenty.
Hi Marshall - so glad to see your post ... please compare Pink Diamond & her child (Ruby) Angel's Blush ... my AB is a year younger in my soil, I tend to favor AB to PD for the same reasons you prefer PD ... I wonder why?
By the way I've been hoping you'd check back in to update us on the 25+ Lil Lambs you mass planted around the flagpole in the Arboretum or was it the Library ... I'd really love to here how they did this season. Many thanks in advance!!! Â;)
My AB never did grow much for some reason. Had it for several years and when it went to the compost heap, it was the same size as when I bought it. May have been a root mass issue - I don't remember.
The Little Lamb planting is still in place, although the staff elected not to prune them this spring. But they did fine except didn't develop much color in the blooms. You can see a pic in the link attached - the first image. The other hydrangea pics are of some of the Pink Diamond seedlings that are in their 4th year. Some are pretty nice and we may propagate some cuttings next year .
Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Gallery Photos