And Now for Something Completely Different – Pretty Parasols

Plant breeders often get stuck in a rut, copying each other, with only slight variances in each new selection. What makes us stand up and take notice is when a breeder dares to head in a completely different “Pythonian”-like direction. Such is the case with Echinacea ‘Pretty Parasols’, which is in flower now at JLBG. We love this oddity from Belgium’s Jan Spruyt, but am unsure if anyone else will share our excitement. The plant is taller (3′), and much more airy than the form typically seen in other echinacea hybrids. So, what do you think?

Echinacea ‘Pretty Parasols’

Berry Nice Coneflowers

Our 2+ year old clumps of Echinacea ‘Kismet Raspberry’ are truly stunning in the gardens this summer. The second image shows how we’ve used these as a color echo in the garden with a crape myrtle in the distance. Many of the new echinaceas are light years better than the early colored hybrids, which tended to be week growers and short-lived. Echinacea ‘Kismet Raspberry’ has impressed us so much that it will be available in the new Plant Delights catalog that will come out in a couple of weeks.

Butterflies on Echinaceas

Echinacea purpurea kim's Knee High with yellow swallowtailThe butterflies are feasting on the echinaceas in the garden.  I just caught this Eastern tiger swallowtail sitting still this week.  You can bring amazing pollinators into your garden by planting lots of nectar-producing plants.

 

Incredible coneflowers

Echinacea Julia5

The echinaceas have been incredible in the garden this spring and summer.  Here are a few shots from JLBG last week.  First is Echinacea ‘Julia’…a very compact orange-flowered coneflower with sturdy stems.Echinacea Salsa Red8

Echinacea ‘Salsa Red’ is one of the most floriferous coneflowers we grow…truly amazing!

Echinacea Secret Glow5Echinacea ‘Secret Glow’…love this color and flower form!