Hydrangea Arborescens ‘Ryan Gainey’ – Smooth hydrangea – Native Woodland Hydrangeas – Summer Blooms Even in Deep Shade
One of our most common requests is from folks looking for summer blooming shrubs to brighten up shady spots, especially deep shade. Quite frankly, there aren’t many good choices.Mother Nature created flowers to attract bees to pollinate the flowers and carry on the species. And, bees prefer sunshine. That’s why there is so little to choose from. To fulfill this requirement, for years we’ve recommended a selection of our eastern native (from New York to Florida) Hydrangea arborescens, called ‘Annabelle.’
This variety has only one major defect; the flowers are so large they tend to flop, especially after a rain. Recently a new selection of Hydrangea arborescens was discovered: ‘Ryan Gainey.’
This selection has thicker stronger stems, darker green leaves that stand up better to the stress of summer and smaller flowers, but a lot more of them.
For moderate to heavy shade, Hydrangea ‘Ryan Gainey’ will make the most spectacular display of any summer-flowering shrub I have ever grown.
White, snow-ball shaped flowers literally cover ‘Ryan Gainey’ starting in late May and lasting almost two months.