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Many of my novice gardening friends always ask me for easy, kill-proof plants or flowers to put in their gardens. Well, this is one of the my staple responses….the Black-Eyed Susan (Redbeckia).
I really think these golden beauties would grow at the gates of hell. They are tough, prolific and stunning. They make an amazing cut flow or a bunch at the mail box or within your border flower bed. They are one of the most versatile plants I grow. Plus, they remind me of my grandma. She digs them!
One thing about the Black-Eyed Susan that fascinates me is that it can be an annual, biennial or perennial. It depends on the variety and the climate. In the south, they are perennials – the gift that keeps on giving.
What do you think? Do you have Black-Eyed Susans in your garden? Are they not one of the best low maintenance, high pay-off plants?
Recently, I attended a Gardeners of Wake County meeting where Laurie Lawson from Niche Gardens discussed North Carolina native plants. BTW–Rockstar Tony Avent and Plant Delights were mentioned several times in the talk. He is, of course, a huge advocate of native plants and testing different growing environments to find the range of conditions these plants can survive and thrive.
As you can imagine, native plants are the best plants to grow in your garden, because they are proven to survive in the same environment. So NC native plants are perfectly suited for our soil and weather. Common sense would suggest that you would have better luck with Black-eyed Susan in your NC garden versus an English Cottage Garden plant like Lupine.
Lawson shared a little history about native plants and why nurseries started propagating and selling them. Apparently, there are plant poachers, or even innocent plant lovers that in the past used to remove native plants throughout the wild to bring them to their gardens. You can imagine the impact to the ecosystem if everyone dug up a plant from the wild. It would decimate the wild population. So apparently back in the 1970′s nurseries started finding ways to take native plants, propagate and sell them commercially, to prevent people from taking native plants from the wild.
Since then, science has advanced and there are lots of cultivars and varieties that have been created, tested and introduced into commercial plant production. Niche Gardens in Chapel Hill specializes in native plants and has worked hand and hand with NC Botanical Garden to offer stable, beautiful native plant varieties.
You should grow native plants.
Here are the Top 3 Native Plants Lawson Recommends:
She also showcased a variety of Enchancea, Baptisma, and Heuchura. I will blog in detail about these in future posts.
So native plants rock! As you plan your spring planting, consider adding them to your landscape.