Annabelle's showy clusters are about 6-inches in diameter. They make a visual impact from quite a distance. Flowers begin in pale green progressing through hues of white, ivory, cream and then ecru with traces of brown.
Carl Sandburg does not seem like the kind of poet that would write about hydrangeas--but he did. Instead of the lovely, ivory summer snowballs I see, Carl Sandburg's hydrangeas are rusting tin soldiers. In this instance, I'm glad I don't see with the eye of a poet. (Sandburg may have been referring to the native hydrangea arborescens; a pretty plant which is very hardy but does not have the substantial flower clusters of Annabelle).
- by Carl Sandburg
Dragoons, I tell you the white hydrangeas
turn rust and go soon.
Already mid September a line of brown runs
One sunset after another tracks the faces, the
Waiting, they look over the fence for what
way they go.