Hydrangea paniculata is one of my favorite hydrangeas.These are the hydrangeas my grandmother grew in Montreal, Canada. She also grew H. paniculata grandiflora,aka Pee Gee but I don’t have that cultivar in my garden. (soon to be rectified)
From Left, cultivars ‘Pink Diamond’ ‘Tardiva’ ‘Chantilly Lace’
The major differences in the cultivars are the size of the sterile florets and foliage, ‘Pink Diamond’ being the largest.
This hydrangea can be cut to the ground and it will grow right back and bloom late summer.(see here) I guess that is why it was the choice in her Zone 3 garden. The winter would cut everything to the ground. However, it is NOT necessary to cut it back. The flowers (pyramidal panicles) will be more profuse but smaller if left unpruned.
I also have observed H. paniculata ‘Fragrant Mountain’ given to me by Eddie Aldridge* but it seems to be a later flowering plant and it has not yet opened. Last year I observed that there was NO fragrance, but maybe this year…
*Eddie Aldridge and his father discovered and introduced the Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’. Eddie and his lovely wife Kay donated their home and acreage to establish Aldridge Botanical Gardens in Hoover Alabama. Visit if you can, it is extraordinary! Read Eddie’s book ‘A Garden of Destiny’
© All photos & text 2010