31 July 2012

coneflowers: hot summer colour

I was never particularly fond of any type of coneflower, much to the dismay of my thriving patch of shasta daisies that came with the house.  I have always preferred the more lush look provided by calla lilies, crocosmia, daylilies, and some species of hydrangeas for late summer colour in the garden.  But with some bare patches of dirt next to these existing perennials, there was room for a change in foliage and flower texture.  I thought I would try one of the new Echinacea cultivars, called 'Mamma Mia'.




And it seemed to love it's new hot and dry location right off the hop, blooming like crazy.  The flowers start out red, and over time change to orange then coral and finally pink. The hummingbirds and butterflies also really seem to enjoy it. 

Echinacea 'Mamma Mia' and a Monarch Butterfly.


I have read that some of these new hybrids are awesome performers the first year, and then peter out over time.  This was obviously not enough to deter me from purchasing another, however.  This time, 'Coconut Lime'...it's a double-flowering white version that I thought might look nice with some ornamental grasses and Sedum 'Autumn Joy'. 

Echinacea 'Coconut Lime' just starting to bloom.

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