You’re Kidding? Right?
First here in Alabama it got down to 18 degrees at Easter after everything had budded out !!!…..Then it decided not to rain till winter !!! (OK, a slight exaggeration). I had to destroy 97 coneflowers (echinacea) of all kinds because of a disease of sorts called Aster Yellows. Here is the gist of what it is:
“Aster yellows is caused by a tiny organism known as a phytoplasma and is spread from plant to plant by leafhopper feeding. Touching a plant will cause them to hop or fly away quickly. Once infected, there is no cure. Diseased plants should be promptly removed and discarded to reduce further spread. Control weeds, such as dandelions and plantain, which may harbor the pathogen. Plants and some varieties vary in resistance. Some research indicates that the use of oat straw mulch may reduce leafhopper numbers. Insecticides are generally not recommended for control of leafhoppers in the home garden.”
……I think we can all agree that the downside of this disease is “there is NO cure” and “diseased plants MUST be destroyed to prevent further spread”….Reminds me of an old country song, let’s see it went something like this, “Its all over now but the crying”…..:)
I’m kinda partial to coneflowers, looking out there growing in the border they just speak to me I reckon. I had most of the Big Sky Series, a dozen or so of each culitvar ‘Twilight’, ‘Harvest Moon’, ‘After Midnight’, ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Sundown’….Had some plain old echinacea purpurea that I’m starting to like more and more as it’s finally hitting me that what I like most about coneflowers are the reflexed petals and none has more reflexed petals than the “original” so to speak. I love and I mean literally love ‘White Swan’s, 5, 7 or 9 of those in a group are about one the prettiest things I’ve ever seen in any garden anywhere……’Mango Meadowbrite’ is lovely with it’s reflexed petals in a mustard color I reckon you’d call it. I especially like the way the petals are separated.
Now that’s the story of me, my garden and my echinacea in 2007. What about this year? 2008?…Heck I got 104 coneflowers now, you have to run over me three or four times before I stay down…..:)
Here are two pictures that for me express everything you need to know about 2007 in our garden.