I know I have to be patient. Plant a clematis and it will be as much as three years before it fills a trellis with flowers. Grow a wisteria and it will take longer. Back in 2015, I planted a hydrangea and it’s only now produced flowers.
This one isn’t a familiar hydrangea like the lusty Annabelle (Hydrangea arborescens) that tries to hide any sign of green behind flowers the size of old headlights. It’s a climbing hydrangea with variegated green and yellow foliage that makes it attractive enough even without a floral display.
But this year it’s finally flowering nicely, although the flowers aren’t even that showy. They’re creamy-white to greenish-yellow and fragrant. If I were to dry the flower heads, they’d be reddish-brown. It does, however, have another attractive feature. As it matures the reddish-brown bark exfoliates, peeling away in layers. This provides year-round interest as it stands out after the leaves have fallen, more so when there’s a dusting of snow.