I love to have fresh cut flowers in my house but I’ve always lived in an historic neighborhood and thus had a small plot of land. My need for high impact for small space has led me to treasures that produce lots of flowers, enough that you can cut and still have plenty left in your garden. One of my favorite gems in my garden is the Limelight Hydrangea.
Unlike the Oakleaf and Antebellum hydrangeas, which are both GORGEOUS and bloom big white clusters from mid-May through late June, the Limelight Hydrangea doesn’t flower until late June/early July here in Zone 7. So, if you are a huge hydrangea lover like I am, the Limelight keeps your garden beautiful through the summer and right up until the first freeze.
The Limelight is considered one of the easiest hydrangea to grow, and it grows fast- really fast. The ones I planted three years ago are over 6 feet tall now. They flourish in a variety of lighting. They produce so many flowers that you can cut to your hearts content. And some of the clusters are so huge that they are almost comical.
They start off light green and then become white, slowly turning back to a bright pale green. When fall’s temperatures start to drop, they get a blush of color – making yet another statement. They are by far the easiest hydrangeas to dry after they have turned green: fill up your vase with them and just leave them. Once they have sucked up all the water provided, they will dry, looking exactly the same as they did fresh….really! It’s crazy how easy this is and how great they look. My kids and I will go out before the first freeze and just cut every flower off as they will turn brown with a below 32-degree night. We come in with enough flowers to fill several homes and we only have two, three-year-old bushes. And these bushes have had many flowers cut from them throughout the summer months.
Add in a few Knock Out roses — which also produce a high mass of flowers and grow insanely fast — and you are on your way to having fresh flowers straight from your garden throughout the summer months – no matter how small your garden may be!
If you plant any hydrangeas in the Spring, just know that your one goal is to keep them alive until next Spring. Water them a lot this first year. They may look miserable this summer or they may look great. But after that first winter in your garden, they come back strong and aren’t nearly as fragile.
Limelight hydrangeas are available at most local nurseries as well as many larger chain supply stores. Happy planting and cutting!
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