The wildflowers aren’t whining, I am.
For starters, why can’t the Yellow Coneflowers (Ratibida pinnata) stand up STRAIGHT! I could put up with some nonchalant leaning, but these guys want to just flop over like, I don’t know, like something that is very floppy.
For the past six weeks I have been in a quiet struggle with my Yellow Coneflowers, trying to get them to be just the tiniest bit vertical. At first I would allow them to lean (I hoped) gracefully and naturally against lengths of twine tied inconspicuously between discretely placed stakes.
Eventually, though, they would always end up looking like they needed someone to call them a cab after a night of way too much fun at the neighborhood tavern. Finally, I gave up on subtlety and started trussing each one to its own personal post.
All this after I cut them back by about half back in June.
I don’t know why my Yellow Coneflowers are so excessively flexible. They get full sun. Perhaps the soil is too rich?
Even with all the angst over staking, I still love this plant. The petals are a clear, cheerful yellow and their droopiness reminds me of a basset hound’s ears. The cones make me think of clown noses. Needless to say, they are great plants for birds and pollinators.
Another wildflower I feel like complaining about is my Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata). So far it just doesn’t seem to be a plant with much visual impact. Maybe I just need to give it more time (this is its third summer in the Driveway Bed). It was seriously damaged by the four lined plant bugs this spring, so perhaps I am being too harsh.
Or perhaps I shouldn’t have planted it in the raised Driveway Bed, which could be a bit too well-drained. Maybe the Ironweed should be transplanted to another spot with more moisture? I’ll probably give it one more year before making a decision. I’m reluctant to just get rid of this plant. For starters, it is a host plant for American Painted Lady butterflies.
To read about more wildflowers, check out the Wildflower Wednesday post at Clay and Limestone.