July 26, 2013
Hydrangea paniculata 'Little Lime'
Six 'Little Lime' hydrangeas are living up to their name right now in my backyard. They're covered with loads of creamy lime flowers that make a serene backdrop for fluffy soft pink-flowering cranesbill geraniums. Or they will once the tiny divisions of geraniums fill in. I'm also planning to place some clusters of yellow foxglove (Digitalis grandiflora) in front.
I have one 'Limelight' hydrangea in my yard and love it, but I didn't have room for any more of those with their 6-8' height and width. 'Little Lime' looks just like 'Limelight' but with a mature size of 3-5' tall and wide. The flowers are nice for cutting.
Hydrangea paniculata hybrids like these are super hardy - down to zone 3 - and 'Limelight' bloomed for me even in the last two years when we had really cold springs and my mophead hydrangeas (Startless Summer, LOL) didn't produce any flowers. I expect 'Little Lime' will do the same.
'Little Lime' is supposed to be as easy to grow as 'Limelight', requiring only minimal pruning in the spring to remove old flower clusters. 'Limelight' has managed to survive some periods with little water, though it didn't put on very much growth during those times. It is listed as having average water needs. These hydrangeas are definitely not as easily wilted as the mopheads (H. macrophylla).
I'll have to post more photos in the fall when the flowers have turned cream, then rose, then burgundy. It seems like the leaves of 'Limelight' also turned burgundy in fall. These shrubs are sturdy additions to the garden that bloom from mid to late summer and into fall without a lot of fuss.
Added July 27, 2013 - My 'Limelight' hydrangea has started blooming and its flowers are more creamy than 'Little Lime.' I had assumed that the two shrubs were the same except for size, but it seems the flower color differs as well.