Red Echinacea

A Splash of Red

The red echinacea I planted last year has done well this summer. (The orange and orangey-pink plants have been fine too, but not as luxuriant.) And it’s been great to have this vibrant scarlet blaze to brighten up what has been an unusually cloudy and grey few weeks.

These showy flowers demand attention. They could overshadow the plants around them, so I have some thinking to do before I plant up the rest of that area.

At the moment I’m planning to add some more hot colours. I have an orange hyssop (agastache) which I bought unlabelled from a local nursery. It would look good planted nearby but I’ll probably keep it in a pot for now because I don’t know if it’s hardy enough to spend the winter outside. (I don’t know how big it will get either, so this will also let me find out how much space it needs.)

Red echinacea flowers

Other plants for this area have a slightly ‘prairie’ feel. There are dainty yellow kniphofias, a red helenium and arching Mexican feather grass (stipa tenuissima). Scattered around the area are tall dark red scabious and yellow potentilla, both of which seed themselves everywhere. There’s a long way to go (and few weeds to remove) before this small part of the garden becomes a fully-fledged border. It is starting to look interesting, though, and it makes a change to experiment with plants that might not fit in elsewhere.

Finding more plants for this area may have to wait for next year. (We have been out to some of the nurseries around us, but have stayed quite close to home so far, so choice is limited.) Meanwhile, I’m delighted to see that the echinceas have produced a few seedlings – I wonder what colour their flowers will turn out to be? Given that there are plants with red, orange and a bright pink that has an orange blush to the petals, the possibilities are interesting. I’ll just have to wait and see – hope there’s some red amongst them!

Bee on red echinacea flower

29 thoughts on “A Splash of Red

      1. Twitter is the place I go to shout about something – usually environment-related – but this week it was mostly related to the lack of foresight of the UK government. And a sneaky bit of scapegoating/diversion tactics by some in authority…

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    1. The bees do like them – I see bumblebees enjoying the flowers but I haven’t noticed honey bees on them. (Maybe that’s because we haven’t had so many honey bees this year.)

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  1. I know you don’t do photo challenges, but when this popped up in my Reader I automatically associated it with my red challenge! What a colour! I haven’t yet tried growing Echinacea. I haven’t had a great deal of luck with Heleniums or Rudbeckia – neither coming back after a wet winter, but these would look nice in my newly planted almost prairie like gravel patch. I wonder if this colour is as hardy as the usual purple?
    https://traveltalk.me.uk/2021/08/29/life-in-colour-24/

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    1. Yes, I can see why you made the association! πŸ™‚ And the post reminds me of that holiday in Cornwall – good times! I think that this colour is as hardy as the pink, but I’ve only had it for the one winter, so time will tell. I don’t know what the name of this variety is, unfortunately. (We have a little nursery nearby that often doesn’t label its plants with the variety name, but it must be something available as seed.)

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  2. I love the orange shades of hyssop but think you would be wise to protect yours over the winter. I suspect that they are not fully hardy or perhaps dislike wet. They are not easy to source.

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    1. I suspected it might not be hardy – so I’ll keep it in a pot and then it can go into the conservatory in the winter. (it’s cool but not to cold in there.)

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    1. I agree – purple and orange would look rich and brilliant – like gems – with the red. I do have the orange of the hyssop and a smaller plant that has orange flowers that looks like a smaller version of the hyssop. I’m always happy to have more purple plants and at the moment I have a Salvia ‘Amistad’ that’s looking for a suitable spot. Its purple flowers would go very well. I just need to decide if it will be protected enough in winter…

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    1. It could be a small hotspot – I hope! The rest of the garden is a bit calmer and more restful, so it’s good to have a wee lively bit. πŸ™‚

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    1. Not as many flowers as you might think, because some are annual and others simply don’t last very long. (That’s sometimes my fault, argh!) And of course, I may get the chance to photograph flowers in other gardens – not recently, though. I am actually photographing a lot of the flowers that have been photographed in previous years (like these) but slightly differently. I’m worried that I’m going to run out of flowers etc. to photograph!! Thanks for the lovely comment. πŸ™‚

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  3. The red really jumps out of the screen, Ann. I don’t remember having seen a red echinacea before (we have many pink ones in bloom). The red and green would make for a wonderful Christmas decoration. I wonder if it might survive in a pot inside.

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    1. I hadn’t seen the red until last year and I’m really pleased with it. It wouldn’t be much good for Christmas though because the flowers will go over in a week or two.

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