I’ll confess. A few seasons back, in a gardening feng shui attack, I nearly pulled all my coneflowers and donated them to Minnesota Green.
At the time, my anal-retentive gardening side had had enough of their prolific re-seeding, their washed out lavender hue and their tendency to catch a late summer fungi that turns them the color of charred wood.
Boy, am I glad I didn’t. Now I don’t think you can beat them. Nothing gives you a wildflowered, prairie feel like a nice stand of them. They’re cheery, faithful, unassuming garden friends. And their prolific re-seeding can be merrily embraced if one takes on a pet-project in need of plants. My current project is my mother’s new front yard citified prairie (my own term) at her house in Gaylord. Coincidentally, she lives across from the Prairie House Restaurant. The smell of frying burgers and broasted chicken is distracting as I work, but I digress.
Dodging the bullet of displacing my coneflower patch has taught me to loosen the reins a little in my garden. Give a plant a chance. The more a plant naturally re-seeds and flourishes in your garden, the more it wants and deserves to be there.
That said, it’s fun sport to mix in a few other varities. “Magnus,” “Ruby Star,” “Vintage Wine,” and White Swan add a lovely range of colors as well as some varying size.