I love watching the summer progression of the garden. The July rains have resulted in lots and lots of growth and chaos that I must bring some order to very soon. One of the shining stars year after year is Rudbeckia or more commonly known as black-eyed Susan.
Every sunny perennial garden must include Rudbeckia goldsturm. It is easy to grow, flowering at least a month during the summer, and a nice manageable size. I first planted it in a sunny spot by the side of the yard and it continued to bloom for several years even as the spot became increasingly shady as the little oak trees became big specimens.
The slender long bluish green leaves, yellow drooping flowers and long dark brown cones of Rudbeckia maxima make this one my favorite. Five foot tall and erect down by the water, it is a great specimen plant. And birds eat the seeds of the flowers long after they finish blooming.
Now blooming away in all its glory is Rudbeckia herbestonne. It has been quite some time since we have been able to find this in the trade – wish I knew why because it is a beauty. It too is tall, close to 5 feet. The blooms are bright golden, and droop a little bit. The cone starts out almost a green color and turns to brown as it matures.
These are all great cut flowers and loved by the bees as well!