It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted, I almost forgot where to find my blog. Of course some of that could be age.
I wanted to share my echinacea garden. It has been a work in progress that I started three summers ago. I must say it has never lived up to my expectations, but this year it is getting close.
I created it to be an echinacea garden, but it actually has three separate blooming seasons. The first season is when the daffodils bloom. This garden is in the far back of my yard and not easily seen. But since everything is dormant in March, the daffodils are like a ray of sunshine and are easily seen from the house.
The next season is a combo of huge Purple Allium ‘Sensation” and wild purple phlox. Both plants are tall and make a beautiful combination that is very easily seen from the house. But after blooming, the phlox get so tall and floppy, that instead of allowing seed to spread around, I cut them back so the echinacea can emerge and get some light.
The echinacea have done poorly in my opinion the last two summers, partly due to the fact they couldn’t get enough light. In front of them were huge masses of orange ditch daylilies that not only robbed them of the good sunlight, but hid them from view since they were taller. At the end of last summer, I dug up all of the day lilies. There were so many, I gave them away to three different people, threw some away, and still had enough left for myself. I planted them in the very back of the yard along the fence so they could be the backdrop. What a difference it has made.
The echinacea have now come into their own and are shining bright this year. Their colors are deeply intense in a beautiful mixture of pinks, oranges, reds, and yellows. I don’t usually use hot-colored flowers in my gardens since they are not my favorite. But this combination is simply stunning and makes a bold statement.
When I was cleaning up the phlox and weeding, I was most happy to find lots of new baby echinacea plants. They most likely will not bloom this year, but will add more color in the years to come. I also had a lot of volunteer echinacea plants from last summer. Once they bloom and I can see their colors, they will be transplanted into the garden. Eventually, I would like it to become a mass of brilliant jewel colors.
So far there has been no sign of the pesky weevil that likes to chew through the flower stalk and leave the flower heads dangling. Most likely it is a little early for them yet, but I’m sure they’ll emerge from the ground and make an appearance.
When they do appear, I make a daily round of the garden with a container of soapy water made with dish detergent. You kind of have to sneak up and place the container under the dangling flower head. Cut the head off and let it fall into the soapy water. In a few seconds, you will usually see a black weevil sinking to the bottom of the container as they drown. If the weevil hears you coming, he will jump off the flower head, live to see another day, and snap off another flower. I did try a rather expensive treatment to get rid of them a few years ago, but it did nothing to eliminate or reduce their numbers. That was money not well spent. The soapy water method is inexpensive and safe for any other pets, birds, insects, or animals in the area.
Sorry I can’t tell you the names of any of these varieties, but with moving them around last year the tags are long gone, and names have never mattered much to me. Their colors speak louder to me than any name could. I do know this one is the ‘Cheyenne’ variety as it blooms different colors on the same plant.