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8 Plants with Long Growing Seasons

When some summer stars fade, these beauties get their second wind

Fine Gardening – Issue 170

It’s easy to see why spring reigns supreme in the garden. What’s not to love about the saccharine effusion of lilacs (Syringa spp. and cvs., USDA Hardiness Zones 38), irises (Iris spp. and cvs., Zones 39), and peonies (Paeonia spp. and cvs., Zones 38) in a steady, ritualistic parade that woos our senses? Or trips to the garden center, where wild dreams of lushness result in an inevitable drain on our wallets? But, what if the garden could last beyond the solstice, power through Independence Day, and thrive even when the calendar insists that the kids go back to school?

Imagine for a second that there are plants with extended flowering seasons that dare frost to wipe them out or with foliage that doesn’t burn to a crisp. There are even some plants that look good in seed, fading into winter with quiet mementos of the season just past. Planting for…

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