It wasn’t until the summer of 2019 that I realized I was living in a hydrangea forest. If you’ve read my column, you know that The Garden Guy may be exaggerating a bit. So, to put it more succinctly, my neighbors on both sides of the street have the most glorious monster hydrangeas.
I, on the other hand, have the more sophisticated Limelight Prime. Hydrangea of the Year for 2023 has been designated by Proven Winners.
When I planted it in 2020 to join the neighborhood Hydrangea Association, I never thought that it would become this year’s hydrangea in three years. In fact, it wasn’t released until 2021, so I was part of the testing process. For me, the difference between Hydrangea’s all-time great granddaddy, Limelight, is huge. Perhaps the big truth here is that they aren’t huge.
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My neighbor’s wonderful hydrangea pushes up 8 feet tall, and some of its tufts actually block the view of traffic. Others are very large and block the front of the house. So a smaller version like the Limelight Prime, which is only 4-6 feet tall, is exactly what doctors ordered.
It’s easier to work in small gardens or even smaller beds, as I do. It begins to bloom early.
I have had a lot of fun developing this bed and making changes over the last three years. Original he hopes to give them companionship in the landscape whether you grow Limelight or Limelight Prime. I always believed that if you saw these giant white flowers on islands like Martinique or St. Thomas, you would think they were the most beautiful tropical flowers you have ever seen. It shows how a garden can be a bit of an attitude or an illusion.
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I’m tropical nuts, so I paired three Limelight Prime hydrangeas with exotic leaves like Red Abyssinian Banana, Ensete Maurelli, and two giant Alocasia Portola Elephant Ears that reached 10 feet tall last season. Limelight Prime flowers honestly looked like the most gorgeous tropical flowers on my street.
If you’ve read my columns in the past, you know that butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators fuel a burning passion in The Garden Guy. Therefore, the quest for a third growing season was to turn this bed into a perfect partnership of hydrangea, tropical foliage and the best pollinators.
Added Dwarven Pugster and Tall Miss Molly’s Butterfly Bushes. Then, heading to the front of the border, Truffle Pink Gomphrena, Sunstar Red Pentas, Rockin’ Playin’ the Blue Salvia, and Miant to Be Agastache. , planted color-coded cornflowers. The biggest surprise was not only butterflies and hummingbirds in the butterfly bushes and perennials, but also the stunning question marks of Spicebush Swallowtails, Great Purple Hairstreaks and Limelight Prime Hydrangea.
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This one bed that started as the end of an obtrusive driveway is now my favorite hangout. The driving force behind all this fun came from the opportunity to test three Limelight Prime Hydrangea and create combinations of them.
Since this is the 2023 Proven Winners Hydrangea of the Year, supply should be complete for you to purchase. Recommended for Zones 3-8, which is a large geographic area. In my three years, I had blooms from June to November, and two of those years had better rosy color than I dreamed of in the South.
Norman Winter is a gardener. He is the former director of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden. Follow him on his Facebook for Norman Winter “The Garden Guy”. See his other columns by Norman at SavannahNow.com/lifestyle/home-garden/.