Back in 2003, Bailey Nurseries of Newport, Minnesota hit a gardening grand slam with its ‘Endless Summer’ mophead hydrangea that blooms on new and new wood, yielding nice, dense poms-poms of florets from May to September. ‘Endless Summer’ was marketed ad nauseum, but it totally worked—1.5 million plants were sold in 2004 alone. Now, in 2009, Bailey’s is going for another big win with ‘Twist-n-Shout’, a lacecap hydrangea produced in Watkinsville, Georgia by crossing the ‘Penny Mac’ hydrangea with ‘Lady in Red.’
Apparently, this new variety has the same re-blooming abilities as ‘Endless Summer’, along with mildew resistance, pink-red stems, and gorgeous rose-purple fall color. If true, that would make ‘Twist-n-Shout’ the first re-blooming lacecap hydrangea, meaning the plant doesn’t have the same big poms-poms as its mophead cousins; instead, there are cute flowerheads surrounded by little beads of sterile flowers, which look like puffy, colorful pinwheels. I got to see a display of these new ‘Twist-n-Shout’ hydrangeas at the Green Expo last week (as evidenced by my sorry scouting shots here). The plants I saw looked quite depleted and sad, and a little paler than I expected, but that might have been the result of living in a expo hall for three days, rather than a friendly garden. In any case, they’re going to be all over the garden centers this season.