Thursday, August 28, 2008

ELUSIVE BEAUTY ~ PORTRAIT OF 'ANNABELLE'

'ANNABELLE'
(H. arborescens)

(Found originally in Anna, Illinois, and introduced into Great Britain in 1907)

~ Traditional Home (May 1997)

Gardener's Note: 'Annabelle' (an American native hydrangea) represents the quintessential picture of a mophead or snowball hardy hydrangea. Performing well, its flower green buds mature to white and then back to green. Large globular symmetrical bloom heads can reach 12 inches across, a bit too massive to hold up when wet, needing support to keep her upright. If pruned to the ground in spring, plant will be smaller and flowers larger, an advantage in tight quarters. (Hardy for zones 4-9)

15 comments:

beckie said...

Joey, on the garden walk Rose and went on earlier this summer, we saw many, many Annabelles. I was amazed at the sight of the large perfectly formed blooms. If I had a place for her she would be in my garden! I did not know this hydrangea was from Illinois, and as my grand girls would say, "Duh!" But now I can proudly say "oh yes, the Anneabelle, she's a native Illinoisian!" Thanks for the great pics and the info.

Anonymous said...

Wow Aunt Joey!
Love your website and your stuill as beautiful as the last time I saw you.
Dave.


http://www.myspace.com/navyopsvet1

Bren said...

Good Evening Joey - It was refreshing to view your hydrangea blog today after a long afternoon of canning. Today was tomato day for me. Take a peek at all the hard work I did today on my blog.
You are still my inspiration for blogging about gardening. Your color themes are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your garden with me.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Hi Joey,

I just love 'Annabelle.' What a great Hydrangea. I also wrote about her in the summer, but I'm really enjoying your collage of photos. It shows her to her best advantage. Thanks so much.~~Dee

joey said...

Hi Beckie ... for sure, Annabelle is a beauty. She shines in a row along my garage and again in a hedge bordering a neighbor. I love her tenacity ... gorgeous left to mature or cut to dry.

Thanks Dave ... I'm blushing!

I'll hop over for sure, Bren, and see the fruit of your labors. I'm touched by your thoughtful comment.

Dee, as a remarkable gardener, I thank you.

Meems said...

Joey, I am oooohing and ahhhing over all the stunning Annabelle photos. This is my most favorite flower I think EVER. Simple but so perfect... green to white to green... gorgeous.
I don't grow it. Wish it liked my soil and my humidity but just a little too far south. I'll enjoy your collage instead.
Meems

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Joey, what a nice portrait of 'Annabelle' in all her guises. When you say that she'll stay a smaller plant if pruned to the ground in spring... just how small do you mean? I've always thought that I didn't have room for 'Annabelle' here in my urban garden, but I might have to rethink that...

By the way, have you ever thought about putting all of these recipes and pictures into a gardeners' cookbook? If you ever do, assume that you have one sold already--sign me up!

Catherine said...

As I'm sure you will agree Joey, it is almost impossible to pick a favorite flower, but Hydrangeas are a fav of mine! Annabelle is a beauty(love that first capture of her):) I like that the buds go back to green, I just added this spring a limelight hydrangea, and love the chartruse green blossoms they fade to white and then a deep pink! I must make room for Annabelle~as one can never have too many flowers~one can also never have too many Hydrangeas! Thanks for sharing info ~it's always nice to know as much about a plant as you can, and love to know the history of the name!
Wishing you a beautiful blossom filled last day of August!:)
Hug's
Cat

joey said...

Thanks Meems. I adore Annabell so much I added another hedge. We're most fortunate she graces gardens throughout Michigan but know she's shy in Florida and other frost-free areas. Another now glowing hydrangea beauty is Tardiva and my favorite, Oak Leaf, that continues througout autumn wearing her coat of colorful foliage. Isn't garden hopping fun ... why I enjoy visiting yours , marveling at many spectacular species not hardy here.

Hi Kim and thanks. I think Annabelle shows best as a hedge (at least 3) so does require space. I severely prune the shrubs between garage and driveway in the fall close to the ground because of the snow, which produces large heads, often too heavy to support especially after rain. My other hedge I'll prune sparingly to 18 inches producing fatter branches but smaller heads and less likely to droop. Have you ever seen 'Tardiva', another lovely hydrangea that might be better suited to your garden. And if you don't own one, you MUST purchase an Oak Leaf that you can tame to your space. A Gardener's Cookbook is a dream and if one ever materizes, I'll rush one to you, my dear gardening friend ;)

Hydrangeas (charming and delightful to photograph) ... another passion we share in common, dear Cat! I'll be looking forward to seeing your September favorites! (Hugs)

joey said...

Thanks Meems. I adore Annabell so much I added another hedge. We're most fortunate she graces gardens throughout Michigan but know she's shy in Florida and other frost-free areas. Another now glowing hydrangea beauty is Tardiva and my favorite, Oak Leaf, that continues througout autumn wearing her coat of colorful foliage. Isn't garden hopping fun ... why I enjoy visiting yours , marveling at many spectacular species not hardy here.

Hi Kim and thanks. I think Annabelle shows best as a hedge (at least 3) so does require space. I severely prune the shrubs between garage and driveway in the fall close to the ground because of the snow, which produces large heads, often too heavy to support especially after rain. My other hedge I'll prune sparingly to 18 inches producing fatter branches but smaller heads and less likely to droop. Have you ever seen 'Tardiva', another lovely hydrangea that might be better suited to your garden. And if you don't own one, you MUST purchase an Oak Leaf that you can tame to your space. A Gardener's Cookbook is a dream and if one ever materizes, I'll rush one to you, my dear gardening friend ;)

Hydrangeas (charming and delightful to photograph) ... another passion we share in common, dear Cat! I'll be looking forward to seeing your September favorites! (Hugs)

Marysol said...

Joey, add me to the list of hydrangea fanatics. A part of me has been wanting them for years, but another part of me is afraid they'd commit suicide under my care, or lack thereof.
So, I'll just sit here and admire yours from afar.

joey said...

Give one a try, Marysol. Visit Hydrangeas! Hydrangeas! link under Gardening Haunts. Bet you'll find a hardy hydrangea with an agreeable 'temperament' suited to your garden.

Kylee said...

While Annabelle isn't my favorite hydrangea, my mom LOVES them. I'm forwarding the URL for this post to her. As usual, your photos are stunning!

joey said...

Thanks Kylee. If not Annabelle, there is a hydrangea out there for everyone. I seem to love the one blooming at the moment best ... but especially partial to my Oak Leaf.

Tim Wood said...

I thought you might be interested in knowing there is a new and improved Annabelle selection being released called Inrediball. You can see pictures and learn more at

http://plant-quest.blogspot.com/2008/06/fabulous-and-foolproof.html

It's noted for having larger flower heads and strong stems so that it does not flop after a rain.