Early summer white hydrangeas live in the shadow of the colorful ones you see everywhere now. But, in fact, they are easier to grow and are beautiful additions to the white flowering shrub pallete in the summer garden. Plus their blooms lasts for weeks.
Perhaps the most well known in the metro area is Snowflake hydrangea which is a pattened selection of oakleaf from well known local horticulturist Eddie Aldridge (aka Aldridge Gardens). The native oakleaf grows wild all over the rock outcropping hillsides in our area, but they are excellent garden plants, too. Another lesser know selection is Harmony, which is almost a triangle of tight white blooms. Here is the good news about all of these oakleaf types: they are easy to find at local garden centers in our area, as well as very easy to grow. Mine grow well in part shade in well drained fertile soil. There is one thing you might need to keep in mind. While they look like they will be small plants when you purchase them, they grow rapidly after they are established and become large decidious shrubs.
Now if you want a medium sized hydrangea you might want to try Anabelle, a selection of our native Hydrangea arborescens. It rarely exceed 4 to 5 feet in height, and covers itself with a nice profusion of rounded blooms. I saw huge plants of this at Leaf & Petal this week for sale, so you know again most local garden centers will have them for sale in bloom. Again, they are a selection of a native hydrangea and like conditions similar to the oakleaf types. These like more moisture than the oakleaf types. So if you want to add these to your garden, it is still fine to purchase and plant them now. Just remember, as dry as it is, watering frequently is necessary all suumer and fall to make sure they get well established. They are simply beautiful white early summer flowers.
More About Hydrangeas for Birmingham Area Gardens