All season I have been photographing my beautiful Pinky Winky hydrangea shrub. Now I am ready to share my pictures, in a blooming timeline, to show the progression of the flower color from spring (summer) through fall.
The bush is lopsided because the deer decided that the buds would be a tasty treat (darn deer), but at least they left me some flowering stems.
So here you have the white to pink progression, with a surprise late white flower showing in my last photo. After all the blooms had turned totally dark pink, a lone white bloom appeared. It looks so pretty against the rest of the bush, that I made a hydrangea poster from the image to sell in my BlueHyd store.
If you are unfamiliar with this variety, the flowers begin as all white, then gradually become pink from the bottom up. As time goes on the pink darkens to a beautiful shade, which can be seen in my last image here.
I don’t have the exact dates listed, these photos were taken from the end of July through September. The hydrangeas don’t really start to grow flowers in my area (southwestern New Hampshire) until summer. The pinky winky is a fun one to watch as it changes throughout the season. This bush also attracts a lot of bees. So along with being a beautiful ornamental for the yard, I am helping to feed the wildlife – deer and bees! I don’t mind the bees, but those deer have plenty to eat without ruining my hydrangeas.
When I bought six hydrangea shrubs this past Spring, one of them was a Pee Gee (paniculata – Grandiflora). The tag said that it wanted some shade so after some thought, I ended up putting it at the edge of the yard near some big trees that would shade it partially. I didn’t know that it would bloom that first year but it did and had some very dainty, very white flowers at the ends of it’s long stems.
The flowers were pretty, but they drooped to the ground and we got lots of heavy rain after that which beat the bush down flat almost. By the time summer was over, the shrub was not looking too good. It has many, long thin branches that left the leaves lying in the dirt.
The Pinky Winky hydrangea is not one you will easily forget. The flowers are pretty shades of pink and white and the shrub itself can be eight feet tall. Plant this one someplace where it has room to branch out. It is a paniculata and is a sister of sorts to the “Limelight” hydrangea which also has cone shaped flowers, but they turn a light green.
Paniculatas are hardy and the flowers form on new wood – or new stems, and that means the pruning – if needed – should be done in late winter or very early Spring before the new buds set. This shrub will bloom in summer and into Fall, like many hydrangea varieties.
As you can see from the photo I’ve added (not mine), the blooms start off mostly white and fill out along the tall spire, shaped like a Christmas tree. Later the flowers will change color to pink. See a good picture of them at the Proven Winners site.
Remember to plant this one in either sun or partial shade, but the ground should be moist and cool. That is what most hydrangeas seem to like.
I look forward to growing my own this year, and then I’ll add my own photos.
The Limelight hydrangea (paniculata) is popular for it’s size and stunning, large white flowers that become light green. The shrub will grow to be very large (8-9 feet tall and can be pruned into a tree) and the blooms last from mid-summer through Fall when the flowers may change color becoming pinkish.
The best thing about hydrangeas, besides their huge flowers, color variety (as if that wasn’t enough!) is their long lasting blooms. Does any other flower last as long? I can’t think of one. And then in fall, the flowers can be dried to last all winter. Show me something better!
I don’t know much about the limelight hydrangea, so I am finding out.
It is hardy in zones 3-8
Very hardy and can withstand drought conditions once established
Flower color can’t be changed by soil amendments
Flowers are held upright on the end of stems (no dragging on the ground)