This is Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’ and perhaps many of you are already familiar with it. When it first came out in production ‘E.S.’ had limited availability, and this scarcity probably just added to the hype. Production has caught up with demand and most garden centers now carry it.
So What Makes Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’ So Great?
Its got a number of characteristics that give it this recognition in the gardening / landscape community.
Bigleaf Hydrangeas have always filled a wonderful niche in the composition of gardens with seasonal interest. There aren’t many woody shrubs that give such a show of color during the summer.
‘Endless Summer’ is a variety of Bigleaf Hydrangea that improves on a number of the shortcomings of the standard plant. The most notable being its ability to bloom on the new growth of the season. (The standard Bigleaf Hydrangea would bloom on last year’s stems, and then only if the winter did not kill the buds.) Plus, if you remove the spent blooms on ‘Endless Summer’, odds are good you’ll get repeat bloom. This means you could have blooms from June until frost. Amazing!
‘Endless Summer’ is a mop-head type hydrangea. As with other Bigleaf varieties, its flower color is affected by the soil’s PH. In alkaline soils the flowers will be pink, and in acidic soils the flowers will be blue. FYI: you can move soils from alkaline to more acidic by adding aluminum sulphate to the soil. ‘E.S.’ Hydrangea will do quite well in partial shade. In full sun they can droop a bit at the hottest time of the day, especially if they’re a little dry.
Give yourself a treat (if you haven’t already) and find a spot in your garden for ‘Endless Summer’.
Agreed that hydrangea are easy to grow and really spectacular as they bloom. I have three that are planted near the flow of the downspout near the corner of the house. Oddly, the roots are rising to the surface. Rain puddles there for awhile before soaking in. Are the roots unhappy? I’ve tried dumping a couple of bags of top soil on them, another time I dumped a lot of mulch, it seems the exposed roots would get scorched in the August sun. But, they grow like crazy.
The root systems of hydrangea are very fibrous and plentiful. Frankly, I would not be too concerned from a plant health standpoint as you’ve witnessed how well they’re doing. If you’d rather not see the surface roots I’d cover them with a nice decorative gravel. Yes, gravel can be used as a mulch. It will protect the roots, insulate to a degree and help preserve soil moisture. Plus, it will do all these things without washing away like the soil and mulch you’ve tried.