Hydrangea Macrophylia AB Green Shadow

Hydrangea Macrophylia AB Green Shadow

Its a great plant but its not what was intended for this entry in my (profile of plants)

Hydrangea macrophylia ab green shadow

My intention was to feature the new stunning (Skimmia Japonica Pabella)  However things didn’t turn out as expected, I will tell you a little of what went wrong, in the meantime lets sing the praises of a, pretty good Hydrangea.

Hydrangea Macrophylia  (mophead) AB Green Shadow

We purchased Green Shadow in early Summer this year. Green flowers  were just starting to show.

I potted it up in a decent sized container using an equal part mix of   John Innes No.3 and a good quality garden compost.

This shrub was required, to add a bit of colour to the most North facing part of the back garden. Many  Hydrangeas can do remarkably well in part shade or even quite deep shade and I find that those with red flowers, like Green Shadow seem to hold on to their colour  well into the Autumn or early Winter.

Hydrangea macrophylia ab green shadow

Come mid July, the flower buds true to the name of the shrub open up in a shade of lime green then started to colour up in all shades of pink.

August arrived and the Hydrangea was looking very healthy, the more mature blooms were a deep red whilst newer ones were multi coloured, giving a great effect.

September came along and the plant was a mass of red flowers and still producing a few new flower heads.

Hydrangea macrophylia ab green shadow

We are now in the middle of November and there is not a lot blooming in the garden, however Hydrangea Green Shadow is still looking pretty good, in fact, all the pictures I have taken of it have been in the last few days, unfortunately I didn’t take any whilst at its very best, my intention was to feature this one next year.

Green Shadow apparently does well, planted in the border, and is also highly recommended as a container plant, ideal for the patio owing to its neat habit.  Although its wise to ensure that you have good drainage when growing Hydrangeas in a pot, you really don’t have to concern yourself with over watering in Spring and Summer.  Hydrangea, the clue is in the name, requires constant watering in the growing season.

Hydrangea macrophylia ab green shadow

Hardiness – – – Fully hardy in uk

Position – – – Best in sheltered spot sun/ part shade/full shade

Height – – – 1 mtr/3ft

Common name – – – mophead


Skimmia Japonica Pabella

I ordered this plant from a mail order company which was advertising this very difficult to come by shrub. Although I had paid for it, the growers in Holland who had promised to supply the plant ran out of available stock.  My intention was to give a general profile of the Skimmia and give updates on its performance throughout the coming year.  I will continue to search for it, in the meantime, below is how I first came across Skimmia Pabella.

We came across Skimmia Pabella  in the new garden of the previous owner of the house which we now live in.

Karen had found out that we were keen gardeners and asked if we would have a look at the garden of her new house, I say new, the house is actually more than two hundred years old, a truly charming cottage with a very interesting garden.

I spotted this shrub which she had in a container, glossy dark green foliage smothered in panicles of bright red berries. It was clearly a Skimmia and although in Aberdeen I had never seen a Skimmia with berries, it is quite a common sight here in Cheshire.

However it was the month of July, and I felt that the berries on a Skimmia would have gone over by mid Summer.  To be honest the plant looked so perfect I began to wonder if it was artificial, so I picked off a berry, course it was real. 

I was pleased to find that the label was still attached and some research shows that Pabella  was discovered growing in a nursery in Holland  actually attached to Skimmia Rubella a male plant.

The Dutch grower entered the Skimmia into a competition named (the tulip award in 2013) not surprising to me, it won.

The mail order company has promised to come back to me when it does become available. If you find a supplier first, do get in touch with me.

© 2015, Alistair. All rights reserved.

18 thoughts on “Hydrangea Macrophylia AB Green Shadow

  1. Shame about the Skimmia Alistair, although I grow a few Hydrangeas I have never really been a big fan of the macrophylla types. In recent years I have reviewed my opinion, not least because of a dearth of late colour, and have now purchased a few young plants including both macrophylla and arborescens cultivars to brighten up the end of 2016.

  2. what a beautiful plant the Skimmia is. I’d never heard of it so googled it, lovely pink flowers. Worth waiting for. Do you know I never thought of the link between the name of hydreanga and its watering needs! My favourite is oak leaf hydrangea but I’ve never tried to grow it because I think it wouldn’t survive without being watered.

  3. Oh that is too bad about the Skimmia….I can see why you wanted it….doesn’t look readily available here…it reminds me of a holly with those berries. And that hydrangea is a stunner. I love the dark green leaves and red/pink flowers….beautiful in that pot. These hydrangeas are iffy in my garden because of the cold winter.

  4. That’s a beautiful color for a hydrangea flower, would love to see the green phase too. Nice to hear from you. I have been off blogging for a while and hope to get back up to speed.

  5. I do love hydrangeas that grow well in pots. Green Shadow is a beauty! I have purple/red ‘Oregon Pride’, and it kept its color longer than any blue hydrangeas.
    Now, I’ll google your Skimmia, you made me curious. Have a great weekend Alistair!

  6. I’m sorry about your Skimmia, but this Hydrangea is fab! Such depth of colour! I grew up in Cheshire – there is certainly plenty of rain there! I have Hydrangea plants in my garden here in Norfolk. The weather is a little dryer than they like, so positioning is everything. Drip zones suit them – although some will still sulk until they get a little more water. Annabelle can be particularly sulky, but I have her in the dampest corner of the garden and she appears to be as happy as she can be.

    1. Sarah, I like Hydrangeas, however I think I may be prepared to swap Cheshire for Norfolk. Having said that, I am finding Spring and Summer more pleasant here than I expected.

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