One of the things I love most about the garden is the yearly evolution and change of all the plants. Some things stay (almost..) the same and others change dramatically.

The amazing thing is there is very little way to predict this! A warm winter, a cold winter, not enough rain, the plant was just plain unhappy in that spot, not enough fertilizer… and on and on. Some plants die out mid-season and some become more robust each year.

The latter is what we all hope for! I have found that it takes a good three years for many perennials to fully develop and seem settled and happy in a chosen spot.
The image above (taken a year ago) is my
‘Rudbeckia Maxima’
or Giant Coneflower

I actually won this very plant at a raffle about six years ago and planted it on a whim: I had never heard of it and, of course, had NO idea just how tall it would become! By the third year it was at least four feet in mid-summer. Now, it is about 7-8 feet tall! I have to get on a small ladder to really take pictures of it…

This was on May 19th:




Look at these huge leaves!


This on May 29


See how the yellow has deepened? It looks very scruffy and straggly already, just two days later.

June 1

In a few weeks when seeds begin to form, we will have the yellow finches all over these flowers. I’ve tried to capture a picture in past years, but I can only do it by sitting inside and dealing with a window screen…not the best for good photos! But believe me, it is a delight to sit at our dining table and watch.

I divided this plant last fall as well as buying one more, so now I have them placed strategically in several gardens.

These grow in Zones 4-9, sun or partial sun and I know from experience they are easy, if slow, to grow. They do tend to fall all over themselves…so I put a sturdy 5 ft. stake in the ground and tie all the stems very loosely with flexible green cording.

What do you think? Maybe you will go out and purchase one of these perennials?