When Lynden Miller, New York City's pre-eminent public garden designer recommends a plant, we gardeners listen. I've admired Lynden's use of Oakleaf Hydrangea in her designs so much, I knew I had to give it a try. Madison Square Park, really one of the City's green jewels, is one of the places you can see lots of Oakleaf Hydrangeas along with many other plants introduced there by Lynden Miller. We planted the Oakleaf Hydrangea pictured here at #3 Washington Square Village in the fall of 2007. This southeastern native shrub has it all: ease of care, multi-season interest, and (very important for urban gardens) good shade tolerance. The white flowers are borne on panicles which vary in size according to the cultivar and the fall color of the foliage is a deep reddish brown. Even in winter, the papery, exfoliating bark provides interest for the back of a perennial border, or in this case at Washington Square Village, under Hawthorn trees on the north side of a tall building. There are many cultivars of this Hydrangea, notable ones include 'Alice,' 'Snowflake,' and 'Snow Queen.'
Previous Plants of the Week:
May 31, 2011
Wild Indigo (Baptisia Australis) in Mercer Plaza, 251 Mercer Street.