First Editions® Vanilla Strawberry™ Hydrangea

(update 2014. This hydrangea has grown very slowly for me. It has never had this strong beautiful color as shown here. It will get a slight pink hue but many of the blooms remain white to off white and have brown spots. I attribute this to how hot our NC summers are. Follow my blog and I will update with a photo for the last week of June 2014. ) See the new post HERE

I have this new hydrangea. Are you surprised? I’m just nuts about these cultivars so I bring you, First Editions® Vanilla Strawberry™ Hydrangea. Now I’ve not seen it bloom yet and it was given to me by Bailey Nursery when I attended the Garden Writer’s Symposium in Raleigh, NC back in September of 2009. But they had one there blooming–and well—I just had to have it—and write to tell you about it.

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First Editions® Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Renhy’ (PPAF)
Full sun
Height: 6-7’
Spread: 4-5’
Zone: 4-8
Foliage: Medium green

It did well for me and is getting established in my zone 7 garden. I hope it will bloom this summer. It has very strong stems.

DESCRIPTION: A delicious new creation from France. The enormous flower panicles are a blend of vanilla and strawberry, held upright on red stems. They emerge creamy white in mid summer, change to pink and finally to strawberry red. New blooms gives the plant a multicolored effect in late summer and early fall. The red coloration persists for at least 3-4 weeks. The habit is upright becoming cascading later in the season. Comparable to ‘Pinky Winky’, however the habit is more upright and the red flower color persists longer. Excellent for fresh cut and dried flower arrangements. Introduced by Bailey Nurseries.

Well aren’t you nuts about it too? Now call your retail nursery and ask for it! Tell them Flowergardengirl sent you. I don’t recommend anything I don’t grow.

Pictures used with permission by Bailey Nursery.

Easy Does It, AARS 2010 Winner

Easy Does It AARS 2010 Winner

‘Easy Does It’ with her mango orange, peach pink, and ripe apricot colors is the 2010 All-American Rose Winner. It was a lovely presentation at the Duke Gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina. ( Photos in this article my not be used for any purpose)

Easy Does It AARS 2010 WinnerAARS President Tom Carruth introduced the new winner at the awards ceremony. Tom told me that the AARS usually picks more than one winner but this year he felt this should stand by itself.

The AARS has encouraged the breeding of disease resistant and pest resistant plants by its rigorous testing in places throughout the US. The roses are tested for two years before they pass the strict requirement by the All-American Rose Selections.

Tom Carruth AARS President presenting 2010 rose selection Easy Does It

Robert Harkness of Harkness Nursery in the UK was there to accept the award. Harkness Nursery is the breeder and what a lovely man he is—-well spoken in a soft UK accent. He was at the AARS booth this week and tirelessly answered questions for all the garden writers.

Robert Harkness accepting the AARS 2010 award

AARS ceremony for 2010 selection Easy Does It by Robert Harkness

AARS Staff

AARS was one of the sponsors for the Sarah P. Duke garden tour and we thank them. The food and drinks were expertly planned—-not to mention delicious.

Easy Does It 2010 AARS winnerClass: Floribunda

Color: Orangey apricot to honey pink

Habit: Very rounded and bushy

Flower Size: Medium, up to 3 inches in diameter

Petal Count: 25-30

Fragrance: Moderate fruity

AARS Booth 2009 Garden Writer's Symposium

What makes a winner:

Novelty, Form of both buds and open blooms, color throughout bloom cycle, aging quality, flowering effect, fragrance, stem/cluster form, plant habit, vigor, foliage, disease resistance , repeat bloom quality

Easy Does It 2010 AARS selectionJust gorgeous!

Miniature Buddleia, Lo and Behold

Lo and Behold Blue Chip Buddleia

Lo and Behold Buddleia

I’ve done a couple of post on this little mini butterfly bush called Lo and Behold by Proven Winners. HERE is one of those post and I give details on the specifications.  I really love it and tried to find more this year. It really is a mini and though it’s growing a bit taller in my garden than it’s 3 feet tag describes, I’m happy with the size. It’s pest free, maintenance free, and blooms non stop. Most of the time it is covered in butterflies. Take a look at how it is doing in my garden this year. It was planted Spring of 08.

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In to the garden of Elizabeth Lawrence


Elizabeth Lawrence is my hero. She was a pioneer in her field. She was the first woman to graduate from North Carolina State University with a degree in landscape design. Please go with me and tour her gardens through the eyes and thoughts of Flowergardengirl. Continue reading