endless summer hydrangea collection pots

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I’ve had a sad little corner of my back yard for too long. And, it’s time to fix it. I’ve already done a few improvements here and there, like replacing the front side of the chain link fence with a wooden one, but I’ve been working on a new corner garden lately, and I’m finally far enough along to share the first few glimpses with you this week!

new hydrangea garden

It all started with a gift card. Like most DIY budgeters, I can really stretch a dollar when I need to, and an opportunity popped up for me to take care of this little nook thanks to a sponsor who just so happened to be a brand I’ve used in the yard before.

corner garden area before

I love it when lucky coincidences like this happen, because it means that I get to do something I was pretty much going to do anyway, only I have an actual timeline that forces me to get my butt in gear as opposed to procrastinating indefinitely. Enter: Endless Summer® Hydrangeas.

endless summer hydrangea corner garden

If you’re a fan of the blog already, you might have seen me mention them before. I’ve had some of their Original variety in various parts of the house for several years now, and I absolutely love the color they add to both the front and back yard. If you’ve missed those posts where I show them off, here’s just a small sample of their gorgeousness:

lilac color hydrangeas

tips for growing hydrangeas

*sponsored and affiliate links may be used in this post*

I could say that I get credit for any of that, but I really can’t. They’re just really easy plants for people who are bad at growing things (ahem, me) to build up their gardening confidence. I think my favorite part is that instead of blooming once, Endless Summer® varieties bloom over and over again, on both new growth and old (during the winter, the old stems on typical hydrangeas die off and you trim them back, but with these you can be super lazy like I am and let them be, because after August 1st don’t want to wind up cutting off the new buds that will come the next year). When they bloom and re-bloom through the fall, the color is absolutely stunning and totally different than how it looks in spring and summer:

fall hydrangeas turning colors

With the new garden bed I wanted to plant, however, I was after a variety called BloomStruck®. From the images I’ve seen online, these bloom from pink to blue just like the ones I already have, but the color of the looks like they’ll be a deeper, moodier color.

Endless Summer Bloomstruck hydrangeas

I can’t wait to surround a petite blooming tree with these, with a spot in front for gravel and a small bench. In my head, I’m basically looking at this:

corner garden before

And thinking of a gorgeous little garden nook, with a small white-flowering tree, with just enough room to sit and read on a bench, surrounded by deep, purpley-pink flowers. Plus, as they bloom, they’ll make for excellent bouquets inside (especially when I mix them with their other variety counterparts).

When shopping at the local nursery (you can find a retailer here), I asked the clerk where I could find the BloomStruck® hydrangeas, but I probably didn’t even need to; this brand specifically puts all of their plants in a big blue pot, which is easy to spot when shopping around.

endless summer hydrangeas - shopping at a local nursery

endless summer bloomstruck hydrangeas label

I loaded up a cart and headed for the checkout. To my surprise, they offered me a bag of ladybugs (yes, living ladybugs) to take with me and put in my new garden. Ha!

bag of ladybugs

I loved the novelty of it, but promptly forgot about them*; it was time to plant!

hydrangeas being planted

*don’t worry, I later remembered.

beginning the corner garden

With supplies filling the truck I borrowed, it took about a day and a half to get everything into the ground (and I’m still not done!). It’s not that planting them is all that difficult, but the prep and finish work: planning out an entirely new garden, making sure I’ve spaced things correctly, dealing with the frustration that is landscaping fabric, mulching, and cleaning up surrounding areas takes time.

spring planting corner garden

I also want to cover over the chain link with fence panels (thus why you see them here), but with rain interrupting the project for the last few days, this is still on the to-do list. To be honest, one of the fence panels fell over and almost squashed all of the progress I’d made (thankfully the hydrangeas bounced back quickly), so I’m safely storing them away from the new garden until the shrubs have a chance to get established, and then I’ll go back in with the fence upgrade.

bloomstruck hydrangea corner garden

Planting the hydrangeas themselves was far easier; all I had to do was space them evenly, dig a hole (you can get planting soil if you’re starting a new bed, but the soil quality in my yard is pretty good on its own right now), and plop it in. I like to rub on the root ball a little to get it loose so that it takes to the new soil quickly, and then I put a little fertilizer on top once they’re in (Osmocote is my go-to for all of my plants, but I’ll talk more about color-changing fertilizer for hydrangeas in a future post).

loosen roots a little by rubbing on the root ball

For garden beds that I change up a lot, I don’t like to use landscaping fabric. It’s pricey per square foot and figuring out where the holes are each year is annoying, so I tend to use a thick layer of newspaper for beds like the mailbox and front garden because it breaks down over the season. But since I plan to let these BloomStruck® hydrangeas be the sole star of the corner garden, landscaping fabric is an excellent weed blocker to cover over all of the other areas (unfortunately, my back yard has weeds in abundance).

Next, I surrounded the new tree (it’s a tea olive, which is a shrub, but you can trim it to be like a tree as it grows bigger) with some leftover edging from another spot in the yard, and filled in the entire area with a thick layer of mulch. Good thing I did, too — the temps have been fluctuating a lot in the last couple of weeks because of rain, so the new beds have been kept very happy until I have a few more dry days to take next steps. But, as summer rolls on, I’m hopeful that this will be one stunning before and after!

Corner garden before

Corner garden in progress

One side of the house already has a few Original varieties in place, so I bought a few more with the gift card I was provided to help balance out both sides of the patio. Doing so will give a nice variety of color, even though they are the same plant (which is nice, because then it’s the same in terms of care).

balance bloomstruck with the original endless hydrangeas

As you can see from the growth on the biggest one that I planted a few years ago, they need lots of space to fan out as they mature. Even though they haven’t really taken up much time for me in the past, I really want all of the new ones to grow in as quickly as possible, so I’ll need to keep them fertilized in a timely manner (FYI, it turns out there’s a text program — text ENDLESSSUMMER to 73095 — that is designed to provide timely reminders to make sure I’m doing the upkeep correctly).

hydrangeas on other side of the patio

I’m not quite done yet, but this area is already looking incredible for spring! I’ll have more posts to share during the summer as I give this area more updates, and you can already see that I have some plans for the fence too. I honestly think this is going to be one of my favorite spots in the entire yard once it’s all finished.

hydrangea corner garden

And as you might have seen from the title of this post: there’s a giveaway for you, too! Here are all of the details… Update: this giveaway is now closed.

Endless Summer Giveaway

Endless Summer® Bloomstruck Hydrangeas Giveaway!

  • Prize: One (1) pair of Endless Summer branded gardening gloves and one (1) Picnic Time ‘Gardener’ 5-Piece Garden Tool Set With Tote And Folding Seat
  • Number of winners: one
  • Giveaway ends: Friday, May 19th at 11:59pm
  • Geographical restrictions: U.S. only
  • To enter: Leave a comment on this post answering the giveaway question below. Yes, you have to leave a comment. Or don’t, but if you don’t, you probably won’t win. I check them because I’d much rather reward a regular reader (usually giveaway jumpers don’t stop to leave a comment, so that seems to help your chances!).
  • Please update the Rafflecopter widget to confirm you’ve left a comment. Winner will be chosen at random via the widget auto-generator.
  • Giveaway question to answer (many of you know how this goes): Have you ever gotten a weird gift with purchase? What was it?

Ready, and… GO! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

pots of endless summer bloomstruck hydrangeas

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Endless Summer Hydrangeas. The opinions and text are all mine.

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  1. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a weird gift with purchase. I would gladly take ladybugs as a freebie if my nursery offered them.

  2. The strangest gift with purchase I’ve gotten was a free cruise when I bought my car. Unfortunately the taxes and fees on the “free” cruise with the company cost more that just booking the cruise on our own!

  3. I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten a strange gift with purchase. I say your instagram post about the lady bugs and about died. We would gladly give you boat loads of lady bugs from Indiana! They are a major pest (especially in the winter). I can’t imagine the response a nursery would get if they handed those out up here. Too funny!

  4. Your new garden looks great! Love the hydrangeas. I can’t really remember a strange gift with purchase, but I would have loved to receive the ladybugs!

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever had a weird gift with purchase. I did once get a free ham at Trader Joes. It was the Saturday after Easter and they were going to expire on Monday and they had too many or something? That’s a pretty weird gift with purchase. But, Ham sandwiches!

    Your hydrangeas look great. Do you know how fast they grow? Some near me are like 6 feet tall every year and I wonder if that took just 3-4 years or more like 15?

  6. Ha, I bought a couch a few years back and they gave me a case of snack sized Cheetos. Very weird.

  7. I can’t think of anything strange, I’ve gotten free garden gloves, free seeds flower and vegetable. But nothing really strange. Wish I could score free lady bugs.

  8. The people who planted my garden planted a hydrangea beside a path way and a low juniper, and then just let them both go wild. They encroach on the path where we ride/park our bikes. I’ve been digging out hydrangeas for three years now, and they’re still coming back, so yes, they’re extremely hard to kill, even intentionally ;)

  9. A salad spinner with the purchase of cosmetics!!?? Go figure! So weird. It was in Japan if that makes more sense?!

  10. first of all I need gloves because I garden like a maniac in Oregon and we have poison oak. The only freebie I can think of is when you buy Tom’s shoes and they give you a bumper sticker that says Toms or some times a small fabric bag. the shoes don’t fit in the bag, so what do you do with it? and why would I want a Tom’s bumper sticker unless my name was Tom? A real mystery!!

  11. Love the company’s innovative approach – the colored pot branding and text support
    Weirdest gift with purchase was a orange shade of lipstick that wouldn’t have looked good on anyone.

  12. I’m from Wisconsin. We often get free cheese with a 12 pack of Wi made beer at my grocery store.

  13. Not a strange product exactly, just a strange pairing – ant traps with the purchase of two packs of Oreos. Like, okay….

  14. I too have gotten lady bugs with a plant purchase. I released them in the park because they seem to eat all my leaves. Haha

  15. I got two oversized mugs with lids when I opened a bank account. It’s been almost 20 years, and those mugs are still my favorites for eating soup.

  16. Can’t remember ever getting a strange gift with a purchase. But, I know my mother in law and gardener extraordinaire would love new gloves and tools!

  17. I’very racked my brain and no weird giveaways with a purchase! I’m missing out lol

    Love, love, love hydrangeas! Only have 2 mop heads and 1 flathead :( Gloves sure would be handy with all the poison ivy I have! And the stool for weeding!

  18. I used to frequent an eBay shop for its high quality hardware, and they’d always include a little something completely unrelated to the purchase. Sometimes it was something useful, like plumbing tape, but other times it was out of left field:
    – a beaded keychain that looked like a kid’s camp project
    – an eraser shaped like a monster truck
    – glitter
    – finger puppets

    So weird, but fun to open the box, too!

  19. I can’t recall ever getting a free gift with purchase – I guess I’m not shopping at the right places! But I’ve heard lady bugs are great for gardens so lucky you!

  20. It’s not too strange, but I always think it’s weird when you attend a health fair and they hand you a bag with a billion brochures AND chips, candy or something else that’s not helping your high blood pressure! LOL
    On the subject of gardening, I’ve been trying for nearly 7 years to grow something successfully and I’m so happy this year the roses I plant about a month ago are still alive!! Woo-hoo

    1. I’ll “woo hoo” with ya! The first time you grow something successfully, it can really feel huge!

  21. Once I received a free pickle. With the purchase of a bag of cotton candy. I assumed it was a promotion dreamed up by a stoner. I loved it. We have gifted these hydrangeas before and LOVE them!!

    1. They make excellent gifts! I hope this summer as I get blooms, I’ll have a few bouquets to give to friends.

  22. I’m in cajun country and we do lagniappe here …..often I am handed a young plant at a nursery as lagniappe, or day old bread at the bakery, but I’ve not had any that are strange. Love your pics, wow! So pretty!

  23. I just want you to know that I am a pretty regular reader and I love learning about your DIY projects. Have been under the weather for several weeks, so am not caught up with the posts.

    I honestly can’t remember getting a gift with a purchase. Sorry I can’t add something interesting to that discussion!

    I do love those hydrangea bushes, though! I have wanted to plant at least one hydrangea for a while now. Maybe with your recommendation for the ones you planted this will be the year.

  24. No, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a strange free gift with a purchase.
    That said, hydrangeas are such magical plans/blooms. I know you will enjoy yours.
    Isn’t it magical how you have transformed your yard/garden? :)

  25. If I’ve ever received a weird gift with purchase, it was so memorable that I have forgotten. Love what you’ve done to your yard.

  26. I have 4 blue hydrangeas in my front yard that we’re here when we bought the house. I ignore them and they seem to be happy and growing and blooming well on this own! I also started peony bushes this year, and some Iris transplants from my mom’s yard, and a shade garden with hostas, ferns and ivy. My little yard gardens are coming along, yours will look great! I used your tip about dividing extra free plants that are all growing in the same pot this week. 5 basil in one pot, 5 zucchini in one pot and 2 tomatoes in the same pot! 12 for the price of 3, score!

    As for strange gift with purchase….hm. I can’t think of anything too weird. Free tea with a bucket of chicken, free “odor spray” with shoes. Ladybugs would be a cool freebe!

    1. Score! Freebie plants for the win! I wish I’d started a garden this year, but I was too busy with everything else going on. I hope next spring I can start a really awesome one and use it for cooking (well, learning how to be a better cook).

  27. The only thing I can think of is two baby chicks last month. Of course I had ordered chicks so it probably isn’t too strange. I agree with some of the other posts about the ladybugs. We have them in abundance. They multiply in the doors of my truck and swarm while I’m driving. On the plus side I’m sure there’s not an aphid for miles of me.

  28. You have come a long way with your back yard transformation and additions. Hydrandgeas. as you say will be a great fit and give you all season blooms with beautiful color. When developing my front flower beds around the deck which was all weeds and small river rock and had to be ripped out and redone I put one which was the deep blue on the north side and was very happy with it’s success and color, heartiness…once I got all the baby wabbitts that were nested under the mulch around it’s base relocated. Actually I like it so well and have quite a bit going this time of year, need more perineal color on the other side I’ll be looking for another one and will indeed ask for the Bloomstruck brand, not sure if handled in eastern Iowa. Another bueatiful plant you may want to look at for your back yard is the Hybiscus which comes in various colors, blooms june – july is very lovely and contasts and makes the other colors jump out at you. You have a large area and the possiblities are endless to what you may do..which adds much fun. Good luck, have fun and can’t wait for some awesome blooming pics ps. chives grow like weeds, can be split easy, when top flowers bloom just cut the flower tops off a few..I and many chop them up sprinkle on a salad, experiment with this..adds great taste. Mine was a split from a master gardner friend last year & it’s doing great and will be split this yr. Happy planting…..

  29. Wasn’t really weird but did recieve a tomato plant the other day when buying 6 containers of phlox ( Emerald Blue )
    Only thing I can think of

    1. Love Emerald Blue phlox! I added a few more to the mailbox this year… looking forward to seeing them bloom again next spring.

  30. I love what you’re doing with your yard! The yard at my home is a mess, and the brown wood exterior/darkness of a forest out front certainly doesn’t help curbside appeal. I’ve been low key planning to do something with it for a while, clearing out the flower beds at the front and around the trees, planting low maintenance shrubbery, and probably not flowers because I am *terrified* of bees. It’ll be a process though, especially as our yard is basically just Georgia clay and weeds.

    Speaking of bugs, have you thought of planting citronella or something similar in your garden? We’re looking at doing it on our back porch and by our fire pit, so we can go outside without the mosquitoes biting us up. It’s a low maintenance plant, and while it doesn’t pop, it doesn’t offend either.

    Anyway, I love the progress you’ve made! Your yard was a mess (no offense…), then it was together but boring (no offense… again…), and now it looks so inviting and pretty! The purple flowers you picked out are so cute! What are you thinking about for a bench? Like a little stone bench?

    Oh! And for the giveaway! Slightly NSFW, but a couple of years ago my husband got me some cheap lingerie. It was terrible, we just threw it out, BUT I got this awesome hair scrunchie with it that I use all the time and have forever. They threw it in as a freebie, and it was the best part of the order!

    1. No offense taken… I agree with you 100%! There will be more developments coming later this year, but it is such a PROCESS to get a yard in shape for the pretty stuff. As for the bench, I’m definitely noodling over a few ideas. I want to DIY the build, but I haven’t yet figured out the look. More on that when I do though!

  31. I got a teddy bear when purchasing a ring for a girl. Why a grown woman would want a teddy bear is beyond me.

  32. The only one I can think of now is buying card games and in the box were 2 or three extra cards from other games – to get you to check out the others.

    I also wanted to tell you I just found landscape fabric at Dollar Tree (and potting soil) – worth a try :)

  33. Earplugs lol. I ordered a new wireless speaker and they sent a pair of earplugs with it. Something to give to the neighbors, because the sound was so good. Funny gimmick!

  34. I’ve never gotten a weird freebie with a purchase! Feeling a little jealous, I want a weird freebie lol I wish my garden center would give me ladybugs when I make a purchase!

  35. I can’t remember receiving a free gift with purchase, but yours would be so fun! My little ones would love to see and hold some real lady bugs!

    1. I’ll admit, I definitely enjoyed watching them crawl around. They are FAST when they’re trying to escape a mesh bag.

  36. I personally haven’t gotten a free gift with purchase, but one of the apps I shop on was offering a free face mask with purchase…. I don’t really know what I ever would’ve done with that. :P

  37. I once got a weird lipstick color as a gift with purchase. I’m pale and can wear almost any color lipstick, but not this one! Thank you so much for the giveaway – hydrangeas are my favorites. I’m looking forward to seeing your updates through the summer.

  38. I love your blog and look forward to getting emails telling me there is an update.
    I like your new garden and fencing panel.

    I have a recycling / crafty solution to make chain link fencing more private. I live in a high-density area with many rentals. It seems landlords buy cheap mini-blinds and replace them with each new renter. It is super easy to separate the blinds and use the individual slats to weave through the chain link. Cut the slats to size after you weave them through the chain link. Weave them in a slant, through the chain link. Weave them in one direction for minimal blocking of the view, weave them in 2 directions to fully block the view – making the fencing non-see thru.

    I hope this make sense, post here if it doesn’t and I will try to make it clearer.

    1. I’ve seen things like this before! Very neat idea, though with the kind of wind and rain I get here, I’d bet I’d have to secure it somehow to make sure it doesn’t eventually slip out on the ends.

  39. I’ve only received small samples with a purchase. I dont think there was anything weird that I have received.

  40. Hydrangeas are the best!
    One time I received a big bucket from a
    hardware store promotion. Put all my purchases in it
    left the bags for the next customer and carried it out!
    To this day, I use this bucket all the time
    Water get the bucket…dirt get the bucket
    Sit on something to weed…the bucket!
    Not a very exciting bucket list but it was free which is always exciting! Actually I donated a bit to get it (a gift nonetheless) as it has
    A charity’s name on it which also makes me smile.

    1. Sounds like a win-win to me! I use those big buckets all the time in the garage too. Not much to look at but they really do the job!