Smith County Master Gardener
Oakleaf hydrangea makes a spectacular statement in the garden. Its huge snow white flowers show a mile away, especially at night.
I first saw these beauties while entering Vicksburg, Miss., 40-plus years ago. The steep hillsides were all abloom with the white hydrangeas and I couldn't wait to find out what they were.
I lived in Alabama for nearly eight years and learned all about them. Not only did they bloom in most yards, they bloomed throughout all the wooded areas. I have had them ever since as they have moved with me wherever I have gone.
Their huge oak-shaped leaves provide so much texture in the garden and turn a beautiful deep burgundy in fall. They usually flower in mid- to late-May but are happily blooming right now in Tyler Rose Garden's IDEA Garden.
The flowers gradually turn pink to a deep copper and eventually dry on the bush.
As these hydrangeas age, their bark begins to peel adding texture to the winter garden.
Much research has been done with these native plants and now there are many cultivars, one of which will fit your needs.
There are dwarf ones, yellow leaved ones, some hold the blooms up and some allow them to droop downwards. Every shady yard needs an oakleaf hydrangea or two.
Dee Bishop is a Smith County Master Gardener. She writes about plants blooming in Tyler Rose Garden.
Updated Thursday, April 26. 2012 at 9:58 a.m. CDT