The word reliable doesn’t usually conjure up exciting or glamorous images. Instead, you might think “stodgy” or “forgettable”, something (or someone) that’s always there and thus doesn’t require a lot of attention. However, the dictionary definition of reliable is “consistently good in quality and performance; able to be trusted”. In the garden, reliable is golden.
It’s no secret that my garden is at its height in the spring and early summer. I happen to love this time of year the most and have intentionally overloaded the garden with spring/summer favorites. By now, the heat and humidity of the summer has driven me indoors and, with fall rapidly approaching, things are winding down. This is exactly when I need “reliable” in the garden and for me, it’s Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’.
Sunny and cheerful, this hardy perennial blooms for weeks. True to its prairie heritage, it’s a bit slow to get going in the spring but by the time summer is in full swing, the Black-eyed Susans are unstoppable. As everything else in the garden sags from the heat and dry conditions, they bloom on. And on and on. Reliable.
The rudbeckia are very easy care – the only maintenance I do with them is to cut them down in the fall and pull out any volunteers that have sprung up where they shouldn’t (they are rather enthusiastic seeders) In every other way, though, they are reliable – and that’s no faint praise.