Two Snow Queen Oakleaf Hydrangeas Planted - June 2023

Yesterday, I posted details of how I had to move a small Tuff Stuff Red Mountain Hydrangea to make room for some new Oakleaf Hydrangeas.   I had been holding a few spots for some shade-tolerant Hydrangeas (per our plan) that extend the row of Alice Oakleaf Hydrangeas from our kitchen window bed all the way back to the south Oak tree.   The plan calls for a mix of Oakleaf and Tardiva Hydrangeas - both shade-tolerant flowering shrubs - to fill in the remaining space.  

I was on a trip to Menards and came across a pair of Oakleaf Hydrangeas that weren't on my radar:  Snowqueen Oakleaf Hydrangeas.  Here's the tag on the shrub:

Snow Queen Oakleaf Hydrangea

And, here below is the full tag:

That idea of Winter protection for the first year is new (to me).  Maybe I can do leaf mulch with these, too? The Missouri Botanical Garden has this page up with this description that had me at the word 'upright':

SNOW QUEEN has an upright broad, rounded habit and typically grows 4-6' tall. Features elongated, conical clusters (4-12" long) of mostly sterile, white flowers which slowly turn pinkish purple with age. Long late spring to summer bloom period. Distinctive, deeply lobed, somewhat coarse, oak-like, deep green leaves (to 8" long) turn attractive shades of bronze, maroon or purple in autumn. Mature stems exfoliate to reveal a rich brown inner bark which is attractive in winter. This cultivar is very similar to the species, except the flower panicles herein are showier (i.e., larger and more numerous sterile flowers) and the flower stems tend to be more rigid and thus more apt to remain erect even after soaking rains.

What's not to like, right?  Long bloom period.  Distinct.  Attractive shades of bronze, maroon or purple.  Exfoliate.  Attractive bark in Winter.  Showier, lager, more numerous flowers.  

These were in five gallon containers, so they'll require a few seasons of growth, but I (now) know that with some Winter protection, they can get going fast.  

Below is one of the Snow Queen Oakleaf Hydrangeas in between the first and second Green Giant Thujas:


And, here below, is the other one - closer to the house.  It is bordered by a random Karl Foerster Grass on the left and (you can barely see) that same first Green Giant Thuja on the right:


There is still two more spots for flowering shrubs - currently pegged to be Tardiva Hydrangeas to fill out this side of the bed.  

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