The “Other” Hydrangea

One of our favorite plants here in the Gardens at Fearrington is the beautiful Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). Unlike it’s better-known cousins, the mopheads and lacecaps, this large, somewhat coarse textured shrub sets it’s blooms on new growth, and thus avoided the damage wrought by last winter’s Polar Vortex. True four season interest plants, Oakleaf Hydrangeas have lovely exfoliating bark, large, rough leaves, which turn a fabulous russet before dropping in the fall, and creamy white flower panicles starting in June. Our planting of the cultivar “Snow Queen”, which forms the backdrop for the Dovecote Lawn Border, (pictured here) has just come into bloom, delighting visitors and diners at The Fearrington House Restaurant!

– Julian, Fearrington Gardener