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May 14, 2017

The object of most any flower garden is to dazzle with a lot of color, and one of my favorites for providing that color is rudbeckia. Rudbeckia are all round flowers with a center cone. But that’s where the similarity ends, since they come in different heights, different sized flowers, and even differ colors. One of the earliest blooming rudbeckia is Early Bird Gold. This is a showy perennial featuring bright golden petals with a dark brown center cone. Early Bird Gold is fast growing, produces loads of 2-inch flowers, and will reach up to two feet tall. I think the tall rudbeckia varieties are stately and majestic. Irish Eyes Rudbeckia grow to over 3-feet tall and produce an abundance of golden yellow flowers having bright green center cones. Another tall variety is Tiger Eye Gold, which are yellow with a brown button center. These beautiful flowers have a long-lasting bloom and will be produced throughout the entire summer. It seems like some of the shorter varieties make up for a lack of height with an abundance of color. Cherokee Sunset packs a lot of color with rustic red and orange petals, surrounding the chocolate brown cone. Another one of my colorful favorites is Denver Daisy. The flower petals are a pure bright yellow with variable splotches of dark red at the base. There are both perennial and annual varieties, but in my coastal garden, I treat them all as annuals and simply enjoy the wonderful colors they produce the year you plant them. They will not disappoint you. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman, and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.

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