Dreamy Coneflowers

Dreamy coneflowers? When I first started gardening, the last word I would have used for purple coneflowers would be “dreamy.” I thought of them as decent-looking workhorses that came in purple and white. And if you planted the white variety you had to be prepared for it to self-seed purple progeny and then to vanish.

But yesterday my sister Kathy and I attended a Summer Solstice Event at Ball Horticultural Co. in nearby West Chicago, lured by the promise of a pig roast, and after viewing the new coneflower varieties, I see them in a new light. Plant scientists have rummaged around in coneflower DNA and found all sorts of delicious new colors and shapes.

Echinacea ‘Double Scoop Orangeberry’

Keep in mind that these are new, and that these exact varieties may not be available at your local nursery. Also, I have done my best to match the names to the correct varieties, but I may not always have hit the mark.

Echinacea ‘Sombrero Sandy Yellow’

Just to break up coneflower monotony, here’s a fabulous daylily we saw–I believe it’s called ‘Ruby Spider’.

The subtle colors of the new coneflowers are easy to integrate into the garden. The coneflower shown here is ‘Double Scoop Bubble Gum’, with ‘Ruby Spider’ daylilies.

Just a pretty coneflower.

More pretty coneflowers, looking healthy and happy.

Also seen, this pretty combo of a thread-leaf coreopsis and a yarrow. If you have lots of sun, this is for you.

But if you have shade, consider astilbes. My sister and I agree, though, that astilbes are more persnickety than gardeners are sometimes led to believe. They like shade, but not too much, can’t take dry shade, but don’t like too much moisture either.

I love the blue undertone to this coneflower. You could plant it with a blue perennial salvia, and some baby’s breath for a pretty trio. Or bring in a pale, custard-yellow daylily.

Guess who loves coneflowers? Let your coneflowers go to seed, and there is a good chance goldfinches will visit your garden.

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3 thoughts on “Dreamy Coneflowers

  1. Oh my gosh, Fran! I think you solved the mystery of my daylilly I got from the “daylilly man” at Wolffs flea market a few years back!!! I remember he said it was an award winner “Ruby . . . something” and couldn’t remember WHAT the something is. I just know that it usually blooms around my Dad’s birthday, 7/20, but is really early this year – today was the first bloom! I’ll send you a pic.

  2. Those event people planted fake astilbes. They gotta be. Fake, that is. I’ve tried 3 times and I give up on these prima donnas – they all ended up in the compost. Did you check to see if those leaves were silk? Or plastic? No way could they all be thriving without whining.

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