‘QuickFire’ Hydrangea is a fantastic, newer variety of Hydrangea paniculata that blooms about a month earlier than other familiar and well-loved varieties, like ‘Annabelle’. It also attracts pollinators like crazy. The one blooming now in my sister’s garden is humming with bees, pollinator flies, moths and butterflies. It’s definitely going on my home garden Wish List.
The somewhat flatter flower form is open and starts out white, then turns pink as it matures. The variety was bred by Mark Bulk, in the Netherlands. Spring Meadow nursery has some great info on the people behind the plants.
When we first met Mark Bulk, we knew that we had come across an exceptional plantsman. His small, but rich Boskoop nursery is a treasure trove of novelties and rare plants, especially hydrangea. Mark has a special fondness for hydrangea. He collects them from around the world and is always on the lookout for something new and better.
During a visit in early summer, we were immediately drawn to a specimen of Hydrangea paniculata that was lit up with the most intense pink flowers. “What is it?” we chimed in unison. “It’s way too early for a paniculata to be this color.” The plant was Quick Fire®, a unique seedling of ‘Pink Diamond’ that flowers and turns pink before other paniculata cultivars even begin to bloom.
This plant is amazing.
The new varieties of shrubs available to the home gardener in 2014 is due to the work of many plant breeders all over the world. We are so lucky that our gardens benefit from their combined passion for plants.