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?



  1. I love when the flowers start blooming and always excited as new ones arrive later in the summer. Your coneflowers are amazing! Happy weekend, Libby!
    Design Chic recently posted…Connecticut House Tour, Creating a Beautiful Entry and More!My Profile

    • Hi ladies: Each week brings new colors to the garden and I love it! Thanks for visiting… And, Kristy, I’ve ordered your newest book and not on Kindle. I’m still wary that airlines will not permit readers, laptops etc. on international flights in two weeks so want to be sure to have it to read! CAn’t wait to start…

  2. One of the great things about a garden…it’s never the same from one year to the next. Sadly, coneflowers don’t thrive in the shady garden I have now, but I remember the day and it was always a delight to see the finches making a meal.
    Marian St.Clair recently posted…Acanthus Summer BeautyMy Profile

    • You’re back Marian? Look forward to a recap and pictures! I leave in 10 days; busy making arrangements for meet ups in London!

  3. A beautiful plant and I love them! In my garden grow Rudbeckia laciniata or as it is called Golden Balls.

  4. Libby thank you for joining in ‘Through the Garden Gate’ , it is lovely to see an American garden included. Those are amazing pictures of your cone flowers and has just reminded me that I have some in the garden, I hadn’t noticed them in the garden this year so will have to investigate! How you have a wonderful time in England visiting some amazing gardens. Sarah x