But I failed with them. Who fails with these easy plants?
This is my confession of a garden Oops. Joene calls these GOOPs, or Garden Oops and you can read more on her blog on the first of every month.
I planted Echinacea purpurea 'Pink Double Delight.' They were pretty for a brief while, but mostly they flopped over, and not just splayed out a little, but lying prostrate on the ground. Then they got eaten.
The bugs (I think earwigs?) ate the petals, leaving just the shredded cones. The flowers that were not lying down in the mud looked ragged. From a distance there was greenery and a little bit of tired pink, but no sunrays of pink happiness. I staked, I tried to combat the bugs, but it was all a lot of effort and in the end I gave up. I took them out.
|Who's eating all the petals?|
Then I came across this thorough study of coneflower cultivars conducted by Mt. Cuba Research Center in Delaware.
Mt. Cuba Center Research Report 2009
I am so much happier when my failures are assigned a number. On the chart of cultivar performance 'Pink Double Delight' gets a 2.5 score out of a possible 5.0.
Mt. Cuba Center evaluated the confusing and exploding number of cultivars of coneflowers for good habit, disease and pest resistance, abundant floral display and winter hardiness. The plants in my garden did not rise to the top in any of these categories.
|Echinacea Pink Double Delight with Physostegia Miss Manners.|
They looked like this for a week, then never looked this good again.
The home gardener gets confused when presented with a marketing array of new and improved and special varieties of old standbys. Are they really better? Is every new version an improvement? Do we need so many?
Apparently not. I am impressed when I see a study like the one Mt. Cuba Center did on coneflowers. I wish every new cultivar offered for sale had this kind of research done, before I get to the garden center.
Do you grow purple coneflowers? Is the variety you grow on the chart and if it is, does it score well? And has it been a success in your garden?