We asked leading landscape designers for one of their favorite plants to work with. Here’s what Tara Dillard, a landscape designer and author based in Atlanta, had to say:
Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), growing to 12 feet, performs well in Zones 5 through 9 and tolerates shade to mostly sun. Its changes through the seasons are art in the landscape. Early summer blooms, long ivory cones, fade pink and finally dry beige. Blossoms attract pollinators with food and nesting materials. Foliage turns gold, red and orange each fall and stems extravagantly exfoliate their cinnamon bark in winter. Oakleaf hydrangea, camellia and azalea are the trinity of the southern garden, giving structure and blooms every day of the year with little effort.