garden ponderings

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Rudbekia or Black-Eye Susans


I had heard of these flowers for a long time, but this story is how I found that it was a must-grow-in-my-own-garden plant.

I am also an artist (clay is my medium), and was part of a group of artists all with the name Susan.  At the opening of our first group show, one of the Susan’s brought a bouquet of Rudbekia for display.  That was the moment I decided that I had-to-grow-them-in-my-own-garden. 

These plants multiply so freely, I can’t believe I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to part with some, so I purchased my first plant.  Now I dig up wayward starts and beg friends to take some.  They are very sturdy growers, and so are the starts I keep in small pots.  But do watch out for the deer, as they find these flowers tasty.

The coreopsis that are blooming now, are the same colors as these black-eye Susans, but are smaller flowers.  I think they look nice next to each other.  In the lower right of the photo are some flower buds before they open.  The black “eye” is peeking through baby-size yellow-orange petals.


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The lilies are starting to bloom now – a true sign of summer. It appears to me that my plantings are increasing in flowers, though I do not count how many flowers there are every year. I was gone for a few days, and returned home to the surprise of lily blossoms. These were not the flowers I expected to bloom next.

Did you know that the name Susan means lily? I learned that at the first meeting of a group of Susans. We all brought a small gift to exchange, and our hostess gave a lily plant. I gave a Susan B Anthony dollar coin. It is funny how a train of thought can continue. I’ll stop while I’m ahead.

These are taller lily plants, about two feet high. One time I accidentally purchased bulbs for very small lilies. The plant grows about 6 inches high, and they don’t bloom every year. Sometimes I forget where they are located, and it is all I can do not to stomp them out.