The purple coneflowers in the RainyDayGarden typically bloom in July. Just in time, too, as the day lilies have started to fade. This year's crop of coneflowers appears to be quite happy in spite of all the rain. Their colors did seem a bit pale this season, but it may just be our imagination.
Coneflowers do spread a bit on their own, but they are by no means invasive. They are resistent to pests, fun to look at, and require zero maintenance. They also attract all kinds of bees and small birds. The bees love the pollen. The birds nibble on the seeds in the dark orange center cone. The flowers may even have health benefits.
Blooms adds colors to our RainyDayGarden, but we try to select and arrange the plants such that even when the flowers are gone, there are still different shapes, shades, and textures. In this way, even when all that is left are just leaves, they are still visually interesting :-)
Another way to keep all the sections of the garden "active" is to mix plants that have staggered flowering times. The daylilies bloom in June, the coneflowers in July. In practice, they overlap for a period of several weeks. The purple Witches Brooms runs more toward the end of July/ early August. All three have long stalks and combine well visually. Mixing them is a good way to keep a section flowering longer. These plants propagate easily and are nice investments for any garden.
Not all plants in the garden in the RainyDayGarden were store-bought. There are plenty of flowering "weeds" which fit happily into the garden. The Queen Anne's Lace is one of our favorite "weeds." It is hardy, requires no watering, and looks amazing in full bloom. And, the ladybugs love them. They can pop up anywhere. We do pull them out when they "assert" themselves in the middle of something else, but we usually leave the ones in the back corner alone. They can grow to be quite tall and flower for a few months.
Watering is always an issue for those with large gardens. We try not to water if at all possible. When we do, we like to do it deeply. It promotes deep root growth, which helps the plants survive during the dry periods. Some really hot days have been forecast for this week. However, with all the rain this year, there is a lot of moisture deep in the ground. We may get away with not having to water at all this year! [Permalink] - RainyDayGarden in July