Bold Summer Color

Autumn Colors Black-Eyed Susan blooms from one plant

A close up of Autumn Colors Black-Eyed Susan mixed with a lime coleus

Close-up of Indian Summer Black-Eyed Susan flowers.

Mass of Indian Summer flowers from one plant.

Goldsturm Coneflower plants coming into bloom

Goldsturm Coneflower in bud and just coming into bloom in my garden today

Black-eyed susans also know as coneflower or rudbeckia are the perfect summer flower for sunny gardens. Both the Autumn Colors and Indian Summer are annuals and the Goldstrum selection is a perennial in my garden. To be honest, the annual images were taken at Brookwood Village in the colorful pots around the street entry. These pots are amazing combinations of all sorts of sun-loving plants. While I have grown them many times in my garden, I did not this year. The neat thing about these two black-eyed susan selections is one plant can give you lots of big flowers. With a bit of looking you can generally find the plants in bloom, if you still want them in your landscape this year. They, of course, like sun, good soil, and lots of water when it is dry. They are also easy to grow from seeds. In contrast, if you put Goldsturm in your garden and they seed, you can be assured to have some small plants to give away next spring. I especially like Goldsturm as they are so carefree and are very dependable bloomers, if they are grown in full sun. The older I get the more I appreciate this plant, as they are not particular about soil type or fertilization and can withstand our hot dry summers. Although, this is not the case so far this year. In any case these three selections of rudbeckia are great garden plants.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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