Thursday, July 16, 2009

Garden Crush - Echinacea

Whether you call them Echinacea or Coneflower, they're quite possibly the most beautiful and diverse of the Wildflowers naturalized in cottage gardens throughout the world. Above, a new variety (tomato soup), came to live in our garden just yesterday. With so many beautiful colors and diverse pairings, Coneflower has me quite giddy, crushing like a little school girl.

When I first started gardening I knew very little about plants. Coming from zone 1,000 in the hot and arid climate of West Texas, I didn't think you could grow much of anything for an extended period of time, and cottage style gardens were no where to be seen. After moving to NY, I got my first dose of cottage style gardens at the Buffalo Garden Walk. I've gravitated toward them ever since. Here, you see purple coneflower, the most commonly used for their herbal qualities as an immune booster paired with white coneflower and yarrow.

The flower itself is stunning, but it's ability to survive the harsh winters of the north east, it's fast and vigorous growth habit, and the ability to pair it with almost any sun-loving plant makes coneflower (echinacea) my official garden crush for 2009. Above, purple coneflower mixed with russian sage make for a beautiful display of color.
More than 30 varieties of Coneflower exist, in colors both muted and vibrant, variegated and solid. This year my gardening pal at the office purchased the tiki torch variety below:

It's beautiful bright orange feathery petals and bronze seed pod make for a wonderful addition to her garden, and I'm coveting. Finding it has proved difficult. Imagine this next to pink speedwell, or purple and white liatris. *swoon*
The double blooming and flowering seed pod coneflower are among the more expensive, but certainly have a beauty and interest that few other flowers can compete with.
This "Coconut Lime" coneflower was the "new" guy last year, and my gardening pal at the office says that hers came back beautifully, sporting over 3 dozen heads. One of my favorites, I have my eye out for this one, too!

Here, the pink variety harkin back to that very popular color trend of purple, pink, orange and turquoise you saw in almost every little girls bedroom or bathroom in 2004. I wonder where they got their idea? Perhaps this beautiful field or one just like it.

Another variety that joined the Garden de la Vanderdogan yesterday is this double decker echinacea. Not only do you have the beautiful flower of the echinacea in the early summer, the seed pod sends up another flower in the mid-summer that lasts til the late fall. Gorgeous.
So, as much as I know I should move onto interior design projects and crafty creations to share with all of you, the garden has me hypnotized for the moment. Please, forgive me, and by all means, stop and smell the roses.


  1. Oh I am definitely going to look for some of the tomato soups! Thanks for the great info Artie.

  2. I love cone flowers! I have never seen the "Tomato Soup" variety though! I am not a big fan of red, seldom use it, but........that is a real stunner! Thanks for sharing! Really beautiful photos!

  3. Artie, who can blame you for crushing on them. Gorgeous. Stunning is more like! **kisskiss** Deborah

  4. ~Gorgeous red flowers Artie! Your home and garden are amazing.

    Have a blessed evening my friend.
    ~Warmly, Melissa :)

  5. Love the orange variety ..... it is my fav! But I love orange flowers, espescially roses!

  6. Hey Artie... Wow aren't you just becomming the gardener...Great flowers.. I really enjoyed looking at them... I didn't realize there were so many different varities... Thanks for sharing so much information.


  7. I love coneflowers and the new double decker ones are just so unique looking! The coconut lime one is wonderful also! I would love to find out what part of the plant they use for the herbal remedy.

    I was bit by a rattlesnake a few weeks back and am taking Echinacea as the 7 or so antibiotics that were given to me I had reactions to. I think we would do so much better if we would go back to the more natural remedies of our forefathers! Oops got on my soap box again!

    Thanks for all the beautiful pictures and inspiration your blog gives!

  8. The tomato soup variety is delicious. Thanks for alerting us to its existence. Must go shop for it now. Sally

  9. I adore purple coneflowers! Honestly, they have taken over one of my flower gardens. Thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures.


  10. Cool new varieties of Echinacea Artie! I still have the usual varieties but I love them all. I didn't think that bunnies cared for them - but apparently they do. Mine are little shorties this summer because they fought to come back after their bunny munchfest. But gosh darn if they aren't blooming anyway! Now I NEED one of those tomato soup ones. ~ Robyn

  11. I'm old fashioned and all of mine are pink -- but I'll have to look at some of the others -- the tomato soup one is that red that does go so well inside at Linderhof.

  12. Thank you for showing me the beautiful source of my little lifesaver. Echinacea is currently keeping my propped up through the aussie winter. Such a happy summery flower, it makes sense it boost the immune system!

  13. Okay Artie! I am in love. With the cone flowers silly. If any of them dry out, and you could spare some seeds. I would so love to have some of the varieties that you have. Would you be willing to part with a few? The red ones are exquisite. I don't know if they would grow in Arizona, but I have a fountain area that needs something there, and I think these cone flowers assorted would be exquisite. Wonderful post as always. You have a knack at this. Happy Friday and thanks for sharing. Stop by anytime, I love it when you do. Country Hugs, Sherry

  14. Artie, I didn't comment on your previous postS so here goes.

    Oh I wud have loved to have attended the Garden Walk. (Perhaps next year I shall.) It appears you had similar weather as to what we did, but alas it was a success and that is what counts.

    The double decker Coneflower is so unique. To think you get two flowering beauties from one plant is certainly a plus.

    Thanks for sharing the photos and your expertise.

    Hugs -Brenda-

  15. I just planted some coneflowers in my yard! These photos are great.


  16. I'm really loving on those red ones!

  17. So pretty! I like all the different colors!...Christine

  18. Tiki Torch? There's a flower called Tiki Torch? This sound like a flower I definitely need to plant at the hut. Oh, and I'll add the Coconut Lime for good measure. Thank you so much kind sir, how much will that be?

    Could you please have Earl deliver that? Thank you again.

  19. Fantastic flowers, I love that tomato soup variety!

  20. These are beautiful. Love the tomato soup variety! Don't know if these will grow in Central Texas normally - I say normally because this year NOTHING is growing due to our drought. Now I have to go do some research! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures. Kathy

  21. Love the coconut lime cone flowers! I have Sunrise, Sunset and one that is named something to do with moon light... they are quite lovely! Yours are fabulous!

  22. Artie, come by for a visit today if you can. I've been talking about ya!

  23. Very pretty flowers! I just signed up to follow your blog. I hope you don't mind. :)

  24. Love, love, love the Tomato Reds. I can't wait to find some and get them in the ground. Thanks for sharing and btw, absolutely love your blog. I never miss it. Really really love it.

    Cheers! Andrea

  25. I did a Share a Garden post this week and I hope you can come by:
    Carrie @ Oak Rise Cottage

  26. nature is so beautiful! just went to the chicago botanical garden. it's the most beautiful i've seen yet.

  27. Just lovely Artie. Who knew? I just love the red! My purple are blooming right now.

  28. ooooh. i like these. I may have to sprinkle some around my Russian sage in Colorado. And it sounds like they'll come back next year in full force, right? cheers, -susan

  29. What beautiful brillant petals~~just makes your heart sing! Thanks Artie for sharing some of Nature's glorious flowers!
    Have a magnificent Monday!

  30. I'm hynotized, too! I've never seen them in many colors you mentioned, especially tomato soup, but WOW! I love them!
    xo Isa

  31. Hey Artie,
    I just bought two of the double deckers which are waiting a place in the flower bed. I am trying to decide where they should go...since they will likely spread.

    This post is awesome!

    Becky K.
    Hospitality Lane

  32. Gorgeous photos of gorgeous flowers! I love coneflowers - besides being beautiful and attractive to butterflies, they're one of the few flowers tough enough to survive in Northern MN and in my sandy soil!

    I have to get some of those tomato reds! I know just where I'll put them! If you haven't seen Summer Sky yet, you'll have to check it out. I got it last year and it's just gorgeous - shades of orange, rose and purple on each petal.


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