Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Purple Coneflower

In spring of 2006 I went to a native plant sale in my area. The place was packed with gardeners streaming in and out in single file. I was a bit sceptical, but I grabbed a box and proceeded to shuffle my way through the building. I really don't like crowds, especially in single file lines with boxes and no idea if I was even going to come out the other end with a purchase.

I was given a list of plants for sale and after a cursory glance came to find out the list wasn't filled with the popular names but names like Echinacea (ek-in-AY-shee-uh) (Info)Species: purpurea (pur-PUR-ee-uh) (Info) which to me now means Purple Coneflower.

I have loved to garden since I was a small child gardening with my grandmother. My most prized gardening possession is the watering can I used as a small child. After she passed away it was the only thing I took from the house. I have faithfully watered every garden I've ever had with it.

I came out with a small assortment of plants that would attract butterflies and decided to plant them in a difficult growing area. Figuring, if they were native they should be able to make it. I planted 3 purple coneflowers. The first season they grew a bit. They didn't flower and to be honest I really didn't expect them to. If they had flowered they probably would have broken the stalks. I was unimpressed, but they were alive and I was in this gardening thing for the long run anyway. They didn't require much from me and I liked it like that.

Spring 2007 - I nearly weeded them away, thankfully I had left the stakes with their names on next to them through the winter! By late spring they had taken off. I was pleasantly surprised and began to hope for the best. While they were growing so also was growing this ugly vine on the fence behind it. I have spent the better part of 10 years trying to conquer that weed and finally found something that would do it last year. I immediately sprayed it and huffed back to the garage! That' be the end of that weed!!

Two days later two of the Purple Coneflowers had brown leaves um...similar to the weeds behind them on the fence. Drats! The spray had drifted over to them. God often puts me in my place when my attitude isn't quite right and this was another one of those moments. The weedy vine was gone, and so apparently two of the plants. After a good trimming and more sorrowful moments. I was off, never to spray behind the flowers again.

Meanwhile, they kept growing, thriving and to my surprise not only did the one unspoiled plant but also the damaged ones. I was shocked at how those three scrawny plants filled out an area 5 foot wide. They were beautiful and I believe I loved the damaged ones all the more!

The butterflies love them and I am currently found sneaking up on the area to take a photo of the beautiful blue butterfly that frequents them, but glides away before the shutter clicks. I fear I have missed my opportunity though because all this week I haven't seen her.

You can bet if I can capture her in a photo I'll be posting it right here!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I still want the flower pot picture for my kitchen wall!!!