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Pottering around an Oxfordshire garden centre the other day, and came across two hydrangeas, [hydrangea panniculata] PINKY WINKY and VANILLE FRAISE. I had been drooling over both of these shrubs in gardening books for some time, and now here they were in front of me!What a dilemma though, as I could only afford to buy one of them [and really only had room in the garden for one as well, although that’s never stopped me before.] They cost £21 each, so pricey, but hopefully will live up to the afore-mentioned drooling, for years to come.In the end, I opted for vanille frais, which as the name suggests, starts off a whitey-cream and morphs into pink later on, good enough to eat.For those not in ‘the know’ these hydrangeas have flowers more like a lilac than the typical hydrangea mophead, but are lovely in a different way. Anyone growing them out there? Rushed home and planted it, can’t wait for future years and flowers.

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Oh fantastic! I've been dithering over Pinkywinky for months but not seen one in a GC yet - still wondering whether to go mail order. Enjoy your strawberry vaniila!

20 Jun, 2013


Got Pinky Winky last year and wasnt disappointed. The good thing about these ones is that you prune hard back in March. It flowers on new growth, no pruning at wrong time issues!
Enjoy yours. :)

20 Jun, 2013


Yes I've got one of the ones that starts off white, and then turns pink. I don't know the name of the variety though.
I think you'll be very pleased with your new shrub. It's a lovely addition to any garden :o)

21 Jun, 2013


thanks for your comments, I'm sure that I will love it.
That's good about the pruning, because with a garden full of things that all need pruning at various times of year, it's easy to get it wrong!Pinky Winky next year I think, are there others just as good I wonder [ I want them all, but as we were told as children 'then want must be your master!'] My parents were addicted to Victorian maxims, but then all adults seemed to be back then. LOL

23 Jun, 2013


Shocking price, wonderful plant. I have had one, Pinky Winky since 2011. I have a number of hydrangeas including three H. petiolaris, the climbing hydrangea. I find them trouble free and free flowering. Spitzhendry and Karenfrance recently have both shown an evergreen climbing Hydrangea anomala petiolaris. I love the Victorian quotes. They were very sensible people and if more folks today showed the same restraint there would be no need for all those loan sharks (I mean companies). I just feel they seem like sharks because they charge such enormous amounts of interest they have to use unreadable size print on the TV, but we only get half a % from our banks if we are lucky. Enjoy your new plant.

3 Jul, 2013


yes scotsgran, it was a shocking price and OH nearly passed out! I just had to have it though, regardless as if I had not bought it I may not have seen it again.That's my story anyway.I have 3 climbing hydrangeas [not any evergreen though] they are so useful for covering things up, and are pretty too.I have to agree with you about loan companies, only use them if you REALLY have to, with no alternative.I bought yet another heuchera [peach ginger] which is gorgeous, and a lovely pink patio rose called carefree days.The patio roses we have are far less trouble than any other kind, and have such a long flowering season, they are worth the money.

4 Jul, 2013


Looking forward to seeing lovely photos of your new plants.

4 Jul, 2013


I have an evergreen one...Hydrangea's only a baby, and takes ages to get established, like H Petiolaris, which is the deciduous climbing hydrangea. I've seen Pinky Winky, and it's lovely. I have a few myself, but they are all very young still. I didn't really like them before I came on here....and then, well, you know what it's like on here! :) I shall have to look into the pruning issue now, as I'd assumed they all needed to be pruned in late winter...which might explain the lack of flowering on some I've had in the past! :) Look forward to seeing your pics later on free as!

8 Jul, 2013


Ridiculous price! But these Hydrangeas are so tempting: I bought H. Wim's Red earlier in the year, gorgeous cream flowers that are now a dusty pink; and H. aspera Hot Chocolate which has lilac and purple flowers. Just love 'em, but they are very thirsty!

22 Aug, 2014

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