This cultivar has actually been flowering since last week. I believe it's the first. The serratas are a bit quicker out of the box than the mopheads. This is a dwarfish selection; ours isn't over a foot tall. The tiniest bit of research revealed that Daniel Hinkley collected and named this selection. He relates the episode in The Explorer's Garden: Shrubs and Vines from the Four Corners of the World
This is going to be the year of the Hydrangea in our area (Washington, DC and environs) They're budded, they had a good winter and spring moisturewise, and we had no freezing days in March. This may not be the best year of all time, but it'll surely be up there.