I thought ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas–with all those minty fresh flower heads the size of my head (see directly below)–were the bee’s knees.
Then I discovered ‘Wedding Gown’. The blooms of the aptly named Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Double Delights Wedding Gown’ (also known as ‘Dancing Snow’) really do make you think of ruffles and lace.
‘Limelights’ will always find a place in my garden (I already have two in my front garden and one in my back garden), but I’m making room for more ‘Wedding Gowns’. Here’s why:
This is a well behaved dwarf shrub perfect for a small garden, a flower bed with not much elbow room or even a container. ‘Wedding Gown’ will grow to a nice rounded mound about three feet high by three feet wide and can reach its full height in just two years. Southern Ontario-based Connon Nurseries reports that it can be leggy with as much as a foot of clearance above the ground but, so far, my just-turning-2-years-old ‘Wedding Gown’ isn’t showing signs of lifting its skirts any time soon.
You get loads of glamour without the high maintenance. ‘Wedding Gown’ hydrangeas prefer well-drained soil (no surprise there) but that’s about the only thing this beauty is insistent about. It blooms on both old and new wood so pruning, if you need to do it, is a no-brainer. Some sources will tell you that ‘Wedding Gown’ does best in shady areas while other sources will suggest planting it in full sun. My little ‘Wedding Gown’ is flourishing in a bed that gets full sun until midday. The canopy of an enormous maple tree keeps it in shade all afternoon.
This shrub shows itself off well. The dark, matte leaves are handsome, helping to throw the sparkling flowers into contrast better than velvet curtains behind a spot-lit diva in white satin. And, given the fact that the shrub reblooms all summer long, you’ll have quite the show.
It’s tougher than it looks. ‘Wedding Gown’ hydrangeas are reported to be highly tolerant of pollution. If you have a tiny garden in the heart of downtown, this is your go-to flowering shrub. Do keep in mind, though, that if you’re thinking of adding it to a rooftop or balcony garden, make sure to position it in a sheltered spot. This darling isn’t happy with locations exposed to winds or the full onslaught of a harsh winter (even though it’s hardy to Zone 5b).
Brides, take note: These hydrangeas do very well as cut flowers. They’re a great choice for your wedding ceremony and reception floral arrangements. And why not get double the ‘Wow!’ with a bridal bouquet of ‘Wedding Gowns’. Sentimental types will love that ‘Wedding Gown’ hydrangeas dry beautifully, too. If your wedding theme calls for more colour, ask your florist about ‘Freedom’, a pink-tinged hydrangea, also from the Double Delights series.