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Hydrangeas that bloom all summer

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Earlier this week, we talked about the first repeat-blooming hydrangeas, Endless Summer. After a detour into repelling wildlife, we're back to look at a second group of hydrangeas that flower over and over, Forever and Ever.

Both groups are great for gardeners who live in cold climates, where hydrangeas rarely flower because their buds are killed by frost.

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And they're the perfect answer for the perennial question, Why didn't my hydrangea bloom?

But they're great for any yard, because a shrub that flowers all summer definitely gives you more for your money than one that blooms once and that's it.

Except for weather issues, hydrangeas are easy to grow as long as you have a partially sunny spot with well-drained soil and can keep them watered.

There are now seven different Forever and Ever hydrangeas, which are listed for Zones 5-9. The one that will cause the most comments in your yard is Peppermint – 10-inch blooms with a streak of pink (or blue) down the center. Everyone who's seen mine had to examine the blooms close-up.

Want bright red hydrangea flowers? Forever and Ever delivers. I'll have to say I was very doubtful about the color of these blooms before I grew the plant myself. But it did deliver.

Here's a look at the others. (Another one will be introduced next year.)

Double Pink

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Blue Heaven

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In my experience, these repeat-bloomers – both Endless Summer and Forever and Ever – make fine plants for containers. I’ve grown both kinds in big pots for several years, moving them to an unheated garage during winter. (I live in Boston.)

I've gotta say I'm a big fan of both. I can't imagine gardening without them.