Brown Eyed Girl in the September Garden
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my favorite Rudbeckia is Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba). Though the common name is puzzling – is the eye any more brown than either of the Rudbeckia species commonly known as Black-Eyed Susan (R. hirta and R. fulgida)?
But let’s not split hairs.
Right now, Brown-Eyed Susan is certainly the most abundant of all the blooms to be found in the front garden. Indeed, this short-lived perennial flower can bloom from July to October, but is probably at its peak in early September.
Brown-Eyed Susan is a cheerfully generous plant, which is why I am so fond of it. She is generous with her blooms – see through masses of golden-yellow daisies.
She is generous in her tolerance for varied conditions – sun or light shade, moist or dry soil. I’ve found that she happily adapts to being cut back hard. This can be necessary as Brown-Eyed Susan can grow up to 5′ in garden conditions.
Though rather short-lived, she generously provides gardeners with her many offspring. Once you have a single Brown-Eyed Susan, you should never have to buy another one. I appreciate the fact that there are always a few extra Brown-Eyed Susans around to fill in empty spots that appear in beds and borders.
Admittedly, it is possible to have too many Brown-Eyed Susans. However, that is easily remedied.
Brown-Eyed Susan’s light, cloud-like mass of flowers goes well with the grasses that come into their own at this time of year.
Still, I wish there were a better common name for this species. It is also known as Branched Coneflower or Three-Leaved Coneflower, but those names seem terribly unromantic. So – Brown-Eyed Susan it is.