Thursday, January 27, 2011

How Can We Possibly Choose?

Visit Tootsie today for Fertilizer Friday!

Before a new hydrangea takes hold, there is another new one replacing it touting much better qualities than it's predecessor which may be only one or two years old.  Bella Anna will supposedly challenge Annabelle Invincibelle Spirit in regard to characteristics and performance.

Hydrangea Bella Anna
Part of the Endless Summer Collection
3 -5 feet

Hydrangea Invincibelle Spirit
A pink form of Annabelle 3-5 feet

Little Lime is a small version of Limelight and the Cityline and Let's Dance series give us the option of growing small compact hydrangeas in just about every part of our gardens.

Hydrangea Little Lime
3 -5 foot version of Limelight

Do you remember when Endless Summer first came out, we had never seen anything like it before, pink, blue, repeat blooming.  But, for many of us it has not lived up to our expectations so we approach all of these new varieties with trepidation.

I have Let's Dance Starlight along my front walk, struggling from the hottest summer ever, so we will see how it performs this year.  I would love to purchase a few more for the other side if it does well because it will add much needed color to the front of my home and pick up the blue tones in the walkway.

Hydrangea Let's Dance Starlight
2 - 3 feet

Let's Dance Moonlight
2 - 3 feet

I love these small ones because they bloom on new wood and can be cut down low so bulbs can bloom between them before they leaf out.  When they do leaf out they will cover the bulb foliage.

Cityline Hydrangeas are a newer group that produces larger heads on short stems, many growing only one to three feet tall.

Hydrangea Cityline Mars
1 - 3 feet

Cityline Rio
2 - 3 feet

Hydrangea Edgy Hearts
2 - 4 feet

I have only shown one or two in each category, check out to see the full line of hydrangeas by *Proven Winners.  Hydrangea Bella Anna has been introduced by Bailey Nurseries.

Hydrangeas five feet and below have been highlighted in this post but there are also new introductions that grow from six to eight feet.  Check out the above website.

*no remuneration from mentioned nurseries or companies


Anonymous said...

Dear Eileen, I see that you are positively in the PINK with your new look!! Very cheerful and just what is needed whilst the weather remains cold and grey.

So many new varieties appear each season and I do so agree that many promises are unfulfilled. I must confess that I tend to stick to the 'old faithfuls' and I cannot count the years that my Hydrangea 'Annabelle' has given me such wonderful and trouble free service!!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Edith,

I had to see something other than blue and white, kept reminding me of the snow on the ground.

Annabelle is beautiful but it does flop in our area. They have tried to breed this out of it with stronger stems in Incrediball but the jury is still out on this one also.

Endless Summer has been a disappointment for me, low bloom count and little repeat. I can always count on my Limelight and Unique.


Larry said...

You've mentioned several that I have yet to try... kind of keeps a gardener going doesn't it.... after all, there is that thing of having to try every new cultivar that comes down the pike, or maybe it's just me! Larry

Gatsbys Gardens said...

I'm with you Larry, I like to try the new introductions, not all good for my garden, but sometimes they are a winner.


Carolyn Gail said...

Great choices, Eileen, and if I had to make one it would be Little Lime. Its perfect for our small city gardens.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

I agree Carolyn, these Little Limes would add a great look to the fall garden.


Mary Anne said...

Such a refreshing post! Can Spring be far ? You have really gotten me in the mood.

I agree with Endless Summer in this area..........I bought quite a few last year and the "ever" never really came through!

Also, your new header is breath taking! Loved it.

Darla said...

It is so strange for me to see dwarf hydrangeas after the massive ones my grandmother grew...and are still on her property to this day, although she is long gone. The little ones are so cute, must check into a few.

fer said...

Very beautiful colors! a very tough choice indeed

Fishtail Cottage said...

Cityline Mars is my favorite! Absolutely beautiful! hoping you link this up to Cottage Flora Thursday's today....xoxo

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

There do seem to be new ones (or just different names) hydrangeas coming out lately. I love the looks of the Invisible Spirit but the ones I have seen so far are a little pricey. The Edgy Hearts has the prettiest petals in the mophead.I will have to check that one out. Such pretty blooms for a cold day.I am getting tired of winter. Ugh!

allanbecker-gardenguru said...

My new rule going forward is to not plant any new varieties of Hydrangeas in the Endless Summer series until my blogging colleagues begin to rave online about their positive experiences with them.

Other new varieties from Proven Winners, such as Incrediball and Invincible Spirit, disappoint in the first year of their planting. I suspect that these varieties should not be sold until each plant is at least three years old.

As for the newest variety, Bella Anna, it was deceptive to give it a name that sounds like Annabelle.
Up until now, there have been no Endless Summer Hydrangeas that can equal Annabelle for reliability of bloom.

This has been a very informative post. Thank you for your efforts.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Mary Anne,

I would be reluctant to try anything that is related to Endless Summer until I see some gardener reports. I would try the small Limelight because I have had such good luck with the large one.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

I know Darla, they look a little weird with the big heads on short sticks. I am sure they look like big flowers just lying on the ground. A couple of these varieties I will try, others wait and see.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks fer,

I have never seen the Cityline but supposedly they will be available this year. These look stunning.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Fishtail Cottage,

I agree the Cityline variety looks beautiful. There are more than two to pick from and I had a hard time narrowing it down to the two for the post.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Lona,

I am very tired of winter and I wish the snow would leave so I could just see some ground. I think I will try to fit in some Little Limes this year because the big one really performs.


Gatsbys Gardens said...


I don't think you will find too many people in zone 5 raving about Endless Summer. We have an alkaline soil here in my area so maybe I am trying to fit a plant in that doesn't belong, but my larger hydrangeas do great.

I did see something on the internet in regard to acid loving plants last fall. The article said to feed them between October 1, and November 30. I did this, so we'll see if this makes any difference.


Balisha said...

I'll have to keep this post in mind when I go to the greenhouse.
Your new look is really pretty. I recognized the rose in your header...I just read your post on that variety. I went to the internet to see if I could find them at a greenhouse.
I think that everyone is tired of our snow...I heard a bird singing yesterday morning. Can spring be far away?

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Balisha, I haven't even seen a bird at our feeder, squirrels, yes!

That Home Run Rose should be available in the spring. The pink one if iffy this year.


Beth said...

Eileen, These hydrangeas are all beautiful. I have a a number of endless summer in my garden; only one is mature and it bloomed beautifully last year. I like both the blue and the pink flowers so use soil-acidification techniques on some. Thanks for sharing this little taste of spring!
Blessings, Beth

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Hydrangeas are definitely at the top of my favorite flower list. I seem to find room to squeeze a new one into every year. You are right though all the new varieties popping up. Endless Summer hasn't lived up to my expectations either, I'll be moving it this spring since it can't seem to handle any type of heat. Thanks for sharing all these pretty new varieties!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Catherine, I am hoping I don't have to move mine but they did not do well last year. I am not sure where I would have room to put them.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Beth,

I wonder if it was the heat we had last year that goofed up the Endless Summer. I feed them but it just didn't seem to work last summer. I will give them another year before I consider a change.


Donna said...

Eileen, what incredible hydrangeas you have...I can only imagine how stunning they look around the garden!!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Donna, I wish they were all mine, but I only have Limelight and Let's Dance Starlight out of this list. Most are pretty new introductions so I will be looking for a couple of more to try.


Becca's Dirt said...

Those are some beauties Eileen. I need to add some to my gardens. Can't wait to see them in bloom this spring and summer. Have a great weekend.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Becca, with the nice weather you are having, the hydrangeas will be popping up in your nurseries long before I will see them.


Karen said...

Eileen, I am amazed by the selection. How to choose just one or five or ten?? I didn't have much luck with Endless Summer either, but it's still alive, at least it was, before winter hit. Thank you for this showcase of new hydrangeas and what to look forward to!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, I am so overwhelmed by the number of new hydrangeas and I don't have room for very many. I think I will try some of those smaller ones this year.


joey said...

A hydrangea lover, Eileen ... be still my heart! Now where is spring!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Joey, I can't wait either. We have been under continual snow but not as bad as the east coast.


Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

On the top of my spring wish list is a hydrangea for the side of the house. I like a pink one, not more than 3 feet tall, that is robust enough to take our cold winters. Do you have any recommendations? It sounds like I should hesitate on buying one of the endless summer varieties. The pink Invinsible Spirit that you show is pretty.
Have a great weekend! Jennifer
P.S. I so enjoyed your comment on my last post.I can just imagine the sandwich lady standing in your doorway and I can't beleive that someone had the nerve to cut your marigolds! Hopefully, it was a young child who just didn't know any better.

Gloria, Dakota Garden said...

Eileen - Such beautiful colors!!! My only success with hydrangeas is with Annabelle. And last year with 5 hail storms the poor plant was without flowers. I learned big leaves do not do well with hail. Happy soon spring -

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jennifer,

As beautiful as all of those colors are, I think the hardiest for both of us would be the Little Lime. My large Limelight does great each year. It is not a rebloomer, but when it begins to bloom in August it is stunning!

The Endless Summer varieties are somewhat fussy in that if the weather gets too warm they won't rebloom.

It was an adult that cut my Marigolds, my neighbor saw her as she walked from the train.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Gloria,

I have two hydrangeas that are not fussy, Limelight and Unique but my Endless Summer hydrangeas do not like the heat so we'll see what this summer brings.