No, I'm not talking about frozen precipitation, though that sounds delightful as our temps and humidity head toward the triple digits. I am talking about Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snowflake'. I don't have any of these in my garden, but I was completely smitten by them when I recently visited Aldridge Gardens in Hoover.
Snowflakes are a native of Alabama. The blooms are double and last far longer than the species. I saw them a couple months ago when their blooms were white; and although they were pretty, I didn't note that they were superior to the species. On my most recent visit, their blooms were turning pink and were spectacular, with their ruffled blooms really standing out.
The world didn't know about these wonderful shrubs until the 1970's when Eddie Aldridge and his father, Loren, patented them and began propagation, using a single cutting from a shrub discovered in Libscomb, Alabama. Now they are grown worldwide. You can read about care and cultivation of Hydrangea quercifolia in my post Oakleaf Hydrangea for All Seasons.
My own oakleaf hydrangeas are well past their prime. Their pure white color has rapidly progressed through pink to rose to brown. Snowflake is far prettier!
My Lady in Red hydrangeas have also undergone changes in the summer heat. Here is what they looked like in May:
This is what they look like now. Still beautiful!
A few other hydrangeas, in different stages, are blooming in my garden now:
I can't wait for cooler fall weather so I can add some Snowflakes to my collection!