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Ask Martha

Growing flowering shrubbery; reviving a Berber rug

Q. Can I grow a potted lacecap hydrangea or other flowering shrub on my patio?

A. The best potted shrubbery looks good spring through fall, blooming with attractive leaves early on, followed by flowers throughout summer, and perhaps even berries in autumn. If you decide on the lacecap, you will need to water it frequently and keep it in a shady spot; otherwise it will wilt in the summer heat. Sturdier hydrangeas with woody stems, such as peegee (Hydrangea paniculata “Grandiflora”) and oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia) adapt better to life in a container, where water drains faster than it does in the ground.

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