Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Top Perennials Part 6 (of many)

What is it about Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) and Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum), that make me so HAPPY?? I don't know but that's the emotion they elicit from me every time I see them growing in my garden. They just look like such happy flowers!

When I first started my perennial beds, I bought a few pots of Black Eyed Susans. I planted them and transplanted them and over the years they have spread a lot. Not a big deal, though - they are very easy to dig out and give away. In the photo above, they are pictured with the annual Cleome.

They look quite delicate when they first start to open up but that's a misconception. They are unbelievably hardy, forming sturdy clumps with strong stems . They were the Perennial Plant of the Year in 1999.
Later even the black "middles" - the seedheads - are interesting if left in the perennial border as seen below, combined with Sedum 'Autumn Joy'. You could also put them into a flower arrangement.

Plant websites and catalogues often say that Rudbeckia is an autumn-blooming flower. Not for me. They tend to appear in late July already and are often gone by early September. They can handle partial shade but do best in full sun. They tolerate just about any type of soil.

Black Eyed Susans pair very well with other garden perennials, including grasses.

Below they line a path. (Please ignore the big weed thistle between the Rudbeckia and the Sedum :)

Black Eyed Susans are an easy care, low maintenance plant that may do well in your garden.

Shasta Daisies are another easy-to-grow flower that seems to be a staple in most perennial borders. Daisies have a yellow eye and white petals.

They are fabulous when massed together but pair well with many other plants.

Here I've got them with a red Daylily.

One large clump of daisies is beside my polyantha rose 'The Fairy'.

I have allowed the wild bellflower (Harebell) to grow in certain areas because I love the colour.
The daisies go well with it.

Daisies of various heights thrive in average or poor soil in Zones 4-8.
Just a small hint: daisies look good in bouquets but they do NOT have a nice fragrance. At all.

Rudbeckia and Shasta Daisies - two more ideas for your garden next summer!


Angie said...

What lovely combinations you have. I have tried and failed miserably with those Rudbeckias. The shasta daisy is gorgeous. I have a double white variety not good for insects but the certainly stand out in a crowd.

Layanee said...

It is nice to see this bit of summer in the midst of a snowy winter. As you say, it gives hope.

Astrid said...

Hi Angie
Thank you! That's too bad about the Rudbeckia. Mine have spread everywhere - almost too much of a good thing. Thx for dropping by.

Hi Layanee
There's still a ton of snow here in Southern Ontario. I'd rather blog about what's to come :)

debsgarden said...

I have always loved Black Eyed Susans. They grow wild on the hillside beside our drive. When we first moved here in 1985, we named our new puppy after them. She quickly became Susie, but I still think of her when I see them bloom.

Astrid said...

Hi Deb
To see Black Eyed Susans growing wild on a hillside would be very dramatic and lovely. Enjoy the view!
And how cute that you named your doggy after them. Now I will think of Suzie too when I see mine. Thx.

Jennifer said...

I love daisies, but how I wish they had a nicer smell! Same with feverfew, which are a favourite. The scent is not pleasant at all. Brown-eyed Susans see me through late summer and I love them for it.
I was surprised to see you have wild bellflower. While I agree it is pretty, I warn you that it has given me some serious grief. It has spread like crazy in one area of the garden. At the side of the house (adjoining property) it has run wild through the grass. The roots hang by thin tendrils and are really hard to dig out. I am passing on my experience so you might keep a good eye on your clump Astrid.

Nadezda said...

Astrid, I sowed Rudbeckia a year ago,in June and it bloomed in September the same year! The last spring I saw it growing well and healthy and bloomed in august. I agree, it isn't a fall flower!
Nice big photos, I love these combination of colors!

My life said...

So many beautiful flowers. I have many of them in my garden as well. Have a great Thursday, Astrid!

Satu from Finland

Astrid said...

Hi Jennifer
Thanks for the advice about the harebell but not to worry. So far it's in a few spots but hasn't gone crazy and I've had it for over 20 years. I even remember when I first dug it out from a friend's mother's garden, she gasped: Don't take that WEED! But as I say, I quite like it and so far, so good. And yes it is too bad that daisies and feverfew stink. They are so cute!

Hi Nadezda
Glad you liked the photos of the "happy" flowers!

Hi My Life
Thanks for dropping by! I have always been fascinated by plant combinations. Now that my garden is mature, some of my combos are quite nice. I'm pleased. Happy gardening in Finland!
Your website is very nice.