While plant shopping with fellow garden enthusiasts, we discovered several great hydrangeas for our gardens including: H. arborescens ‘Green Dragon’ and H. serrata ‘Oamacha Variegata’, but the find of the weekend was H. macrophylla ‘Ayesha’. We were all struck by the unique flowers of this plant and knew it was coming home with us immediately no matter the cost.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’ produces a free-flowering, sometimes oblong-shaped, mophead bloom as expected with a macrophylla. The striking difference is the sepals are shaped like cupped spoons with a waxy, succulent-like texture and feel. Unlike other mopheads, this cultivar is also fragrant. The color ranges from pink to pale blue depending on the soil acidity as with other hydrangeas. These unique blossoms decorate the fresh green foliage from early to mid summer.
Sometimes also listed as H. macrophylla ‘Silver Slipper’, ‘Ayesha’ has been named a Great Plant Pick by the Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden and awarded the Award of Merit and Award of Garden Merit by Royal Horticultural Society.
Upon returning the Arboretum on Monday, I inquired if this cultivar was already part of our collection. No surprise, our curator, Andrew Bunting, has three plants blooming in pink and pale blue in the Hydrangea Collection. Stop by to see our complete collection of unique hydrangea cultivars and see what gems you might find that have to be a part of your garden.