Purple Coneflowers and Shasta Daisies
There are two flowers that keep my sunny garden going through July. Purple coneflowers and Shasta daisies are quite common in many gardens of the East Coast. I love them nonetheless for their reliability during this hot, dry month.
The purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are a favorite of butterflies and birds. The deer and rabbits seem to stay away from them. They are considered an herb and most deer/rabbits stay away from all of my herbs (except parsley!). The coneflowers make wonderful cut flowers as well. It was a little tricky to get them started here. My advice to you is if you have trouble with them, don't give up! I planted them two or three times before they started to thrive.
The Shasta daisies pictured above were inherited from the previous homeowner when I moved in 11 years ago. They are still going strong without me having to do anything to them. I realized a few years ago that if I planted a mass of them throughout my garden, spacing them relatively the same distance apart, then it created a sense of continuity in the space. You can see in the picture above that the daisies are repeated further off in the distance. For anybody out there that has a large garden filled with flowers, but still feels like it doesn't fit together, this tip is the key to making it work. Buy the same flower (in large quantities) or divide what you have (as I did) and stagger the flower throughout your garden. Our eyes have trouble focusing when there is a variety of color and shapes everywhere. This creates a flow and pattern that the eye can follow.
These daisies were found growing in an area that had not ever been tended. The seeds must have blown over from someone else's garden. I dug them up and planted them in my garden to see what they would do. They are a different variety than the original which I believe is 'Becky'. These daisies are much taller and have a habit of falling over in the rain. They also spread much quicker which was a good thing because I was looking for something to fill in this large space.