Ha-ha. Just kidding. Its real name is Hydrangea ‘Incrediball’ and it was on all the catalogue covers a couple of years ago. I remember seeing it on the cover of the Wayside Gardens catalogue and thinking, are you kidding me???
Now, I’m not a huge fan of the Smooth Hydrangea cultivars in the first place, so this new, freakish cultivar just makes me want to run into a closet and hide. I like the classic ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas in certain situations — a neighbor of mine with a Victorian style house has a nice Annabelle growing at the corner of the porch, and it looks dandy there. Just right.
I know you already know what it looks like, but here’s ‘Annabelle’:
It’s hard to imagine a couple of plant breeders standing in front of this shrub going, “yeah Bob, it’s nice and all but something’s missing…I think the flowers are just too darn small.”
In case you’re wondering what ‘Incrediball’s great-great grandmother looked like, here’s a picture:
She’s a real beauty, eh? It’s the wild Hydrangea arborescens. I’m not sure why we feel the need to breed this lovely plant into something bordering on the grotesque. I guess it goes along with our natural American craving for bigger, better, more.
However, before I get too smug about my good taste, I should say that I looooove those ridiculously huge allium bulbs, like ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Globemaster’:
Let’s face it. These are giant purple orbs floating above the rest of your plants. So why are these cool and the ‘Invinciball’ just tacky?