Perennials – Coneflowers
Oh, how I love my coneflowers. My collection, if you could call it that, used to be confined to those with purple flowers and white flowers. In recent years, hybridizers have been coming up with some pretty fantastic color selections. One of my most recent purchases is the glorious orange one seen above, which is ‘Summer Sun.’ Last year, I bought ‘Coconut Lime’ at The Friends of Manito plant sale and think it’s pretty special, too. The ruffly pink one is ‘Pink Double Delight.’
Coneflowers, or Echinacea, make a terrific choice for most gardens. They love hot summer sun and aren’t fussy about their soil at all. As a matter of fact, the crummier the soil, the happier they are. They started blooming in my garden about 3 weeks ago and will bloom for the rest of the season. While I like to keep my garden tidy by deadheading the spent flowers, I also think it’s important to leave the flower heads on the plants at the end of the season because seed-loving birds like finches will take advantage of the nutritious seeds during the fall and winter.