I bought my Hydrangea Annabelle five years ago. It was about a foot tall and wide. Didn't know much about hydrangeas at the point, but the picture looked nice.
Today Annabelle is close to 5 feet tall and just as wide. It has been the one plant in the garden that shines, with minimal, if any, attention from me. The summer that I brought this baby home, I watered it frequently of course, but since then, I cannot remember ever pulling the hose out to give it a drink. May sound a bit harsh, but I've never seen it drooping. And fortunately, no bugs appear to have taking a liking to Annabelle, with the exception of the Hydrangea Leaf Rollers that I found one year. But they were not able to do any noteworthy harm.
Annabelle has a simple beauty that is so easily appreciated. The mop heads that open up in early June, are of a chartreuse green color that slowly transform into a soft white. I absolutely love how I right now can enjoy a range of mop head colors on my shrub. All backed up by a bounty of healthy dark green leaves.
The one thing I've struggled with, is whether I should cut it back, how much, and when. And seriously, Annabelle looks its best this year when I didn't do anything at all. No cut backs. I just removed broken branches. Someone told me that if you want large mop heads, cut them back. And so I did, but when the hard rains came, my beautiful big mop heads were heavy on the ground in the dirt. This year the mop heads are smaller, and they have held up well to the rains - so far.
Now that we know that we like each other, Annabelle and I, I've been a bit eager to get my hands on a pink Annabelle. It was on my shopping list for this spring, but it's nowhere to be seen.
What I have noticed though, is that my shrub has a branch that is growing horizontally on top of the ground with tiny shoots coming up like little mini shrubs. I think if I cover the branch with a bit of dirt I can maybe get roots to grow? And, and.... maybe have little Annabelle babies?
What do you think? Would that work, or am I being a bit optimistic?