There was some thunder and rain last night, nothing too extreme but this morning when I looked out my window, my Hellanthus simulans (the swamp sunflower) was sprawled over the garden path.
This native sunflower from Niche Gardens was planted last year and I was astounded at it’s rapid growth. I would have been totally distraught at losing it-had there not been another seedling growing deeper in the bed, a tenth of the size, completely untouched by the storm. Next year, I will prune this seedling to keep it smaller, and bushier.
The fall Show Stopper and it’s supporting cast of plants
The Swamp sunflower is a Show- Stopper, ( or should I say- was a Show- Stopper) that needs a lot of space both vertically and horizontally. The bright golden yellow is a perfect foil and complimentary color for the blooms and berries of fall in purples and blues; the lilac ‘Raydon’s favorite’ aster, the deep purple fuzzy Mexican sage, the dark indigo blue ‘black and blue’ salvia, violet blue Mexican petunias, powdery blue hardy ageratum, and the magenta purple American beautyberry.
Bold red, orange, pink and yellow zinnia and deep rich red dahlias spice up the collection of blues and purples and snuggle at the foot of the 10′ sunflower stalks. The feathery texture of Amsonia hubrichtii grows alongside the beautyberry with an airy Gaura ‘Siskiyou Pink’ at their feet.
While the swamp sunflowers take center stage, in the other parts of the bed the yellow is repeated in a soft, lemon shade with ‘Gethsemene moonlight’ chrysanthemum and some ‘blue bedder’ salvia. ‘Prince Henry’ Japanese anemone adds a touch of deep cerise. Beside the Amsonia and the beautyberry, ‘soulful feast’ chrysanthemum picks up the magenta in the beautyberry, and the pink in the ‘Siskiyou Pink’ Gaura