Though I linked to my recent newspaper column about autumn containers in the previous post, I think it’s also worthwhile to spotlight Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’, a coneflower cultivar named as an All-America Selections Award Winner in 2013.
‘Cheyenne Spirit’ offers a varied range of flower colors rather than a single hue. Some plants produce typical purple, pink, or white flowers, while others offer unique tones of red, orange, gold, and cream. The cultivar is also especially sturdy and well-branched. Plus, like other coneflowers, it produces long-lasting blooms that open for 4 weeks or more, makes a good cut flower, attracts birds and butterflies, is tolerant of hot and dry sites, deer resistant, and easy to grow.
It’s only fair to mention, however, that feedback has been mixed on some of the other relatively new coneflowers with orange and red blooms, especially the ‘Sunrise’/’Sunset’ group, which doesn’t aways grace the garden for a second year.
In the pair of autumn containers on my front stoop, the dramatic ‘Cheyene Spirit’ plays the role of eye-catcher.
In the Upstate of South Carolina, Echinacea typically blooms in mid to late summer, but these autumn-hued coneflowers, plus the Coreopsis ‘Sienna Sunset’ featured in second container, were specifically brought on later in the year to produce color for the fall season.
Those who live locally will be interested to know the four ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ coneflowers pictured were purchased in a single container at Home Depot for $15.98. What a bargain! And worth the gamble, don’t you think?
In addition to the Echinacea and the Coreopsis, plants include (L to R): ‘Everillo’ carex (C. oshimensis), purple heart (Setcreasea purpurea), creeping wire vine (Muehlenbeckia complexa), variegated boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), ‘Hameln’ dwarf fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides), autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora), coral bells (Heuchera), variegated creeping myrtle (Vinca minor), and ‘Risky Business’ hosta.
Since the weather has begun to cool, I hope the flowers will last for an extended display. Later, when the containers are renewed for a final time with winter ornamentals, the Echinacea, Coreopsis, and Pennisetum will be potted up for the spring plant sale of the Greater Greenville Master Gardeners.
Sadly, these sun-loving perennials wouldn’t last in my shady garden, so it’s best to pass them along to a gardener who can grow them in the conditions they require.