Thursday, August 22, 2013

Seasons in the Garden - Brown-Eyed Susans and More

The other group of plants in our garden that indicate late summer is here are the brown-eyed susans and all their relatives.  We have several different horticultural varieties, and for the life of me I can't figure out the correct labels.  I suspect they're mostly varieties of Rudbeckia, but in any case they paint large parts of the garden bright yellow at this time of year.

These are the native brown-eyed susans, thanks to a mixture of prairie wildflower seeds I spread several years ago.  To be honest, I like the picture of them in the meadow where they're mixed in with Queen Anne's Lace and monarda more than the pure stands in the garden, but they're always beautiful.

These ones get called 'black-eyed susans' too, but all of ours have dark brown centres, and they're about 2 feet plus a little tall.  They form large patches and last a long time, spreading by being self-seeding.

The second type we have are these bright yellow ones.  They're taller than the native ones, usually at least 4 feet high, and grow in very large clusters that start falling over eventually.  They form huge yellow patches in the garden, so huge they dominate numerous other shorter flowers. 

These ones have yellow-orange centres, though they turn dark as they age.  But these ones don't seem to self-seed and spread very much, if at all.

This variety is taller still, easily 6 feet, and very 'light' as a plant, with thinner stems and leaves.  It self-seeds like mad, and repeatedly pops up in the garden where you don't want it.  You have to be careful with this one or it will take over.

The flower centres are brown, and the flower shape is like coneflowers to me, the petals hanging down.

The last one is enormous, easily 8 feet tall (I'm looking up at it here), and spreading into huge clumps easily 6 feet across at the top.  It does not appear to self-seed or spread at all, but the three clumps we have have just exploded in size this year, and we're having to ask ourselves what to do with them!

This one has quite large flowers with green centres, and is tall enough that you can easily get a picture of it against the sky - in fact that's the only picture you can get.  Together all these bright yellow flowers colour the garden beautifully at this time of year - but they also tell me the end is getting near.

Even though it's Thursday already and I'm almost too late, given all the yellow flowers I can't resist linking this to Monday Mellow Yellows!  Check out other yellow pix by clicking on the last picture above.



  1. Wow, what a gorgeous and colorful post. I love these beautiful cheery flowers! Have a happy weekend!

  2. Oh aren't they pretty!! My favorite is the first one of the meadow. Beautiful.
    Black Eyed Susans are Maryland state flower.

  3. These are really beautiful brown eyed susans and so many varieties too. I like the really tall ones. I have Rudbekia in the garden and love it. I have seen the wild ones along the roadsides in some areas and have picked bouquets to dry. The perennial ones don't dry.

  4. For me, yellow = summer, every garden needs some!! Your images are lovely, you captured the light perfectly!!

    There is a large variety of black eyed susan plants, each one with slight differences but so much beauty!!

  5. Gorgeous flowers... I love all of your photos --especially the one with that beautiful blue sky in the background.. Gorgeous.

  6. Such a wonderful colourful of bright floral golds. I can't believe so many subtle variations. Beautiful photos.

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  8. Simple and common flowers and yet you have captured them stunningly. Truly great shots!

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  10. Glad you all enjoyed my bright yellow flowers of August.