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Coneflower Butterfly Kisses – Fragrant Perennial for Small Space Gardening

Coneflower Butterfly Kisses

Coneflower Butterfly Kisses is a perfect fit almost anywhere!

Butterfly Kisses Coneflower is packed with beautiful double pink pompom blooms on short stems.  The fact that it has smaller flowers than other coneflowers doesn’t faze me a bit since there are so many handsome long flowering blooms on short upright stems that are just the right height for small children to enjoy the lingering butterflies.

Coneflowers or Echinacea are easy to grow in sun to part shade providing mid-late summer color in the perennial garden.  Like most double flowering forms, they open single.  This one has a nice lime green center to it early on before becoming fully double pink.  Butterfly Kisses is from Arie Blom – a long time Coneflower breeder who has introduced some of the most garden worthy & colorful Echinacea over the years.  (See Double Coneflowers – Meet the Breeder)

Here are a few garden design ideas with this enchanting new FRAGRANT coneflower.

Foundation Planting.  If you have a few large shrubs around your foundation and this area is getting about 4 hours of sun, Butterfly Kisses would be a colorful foreground planting in front of a couple of Hydrangea Endless Summer.

Echinacea Butterfly Kisses_collage

Pairing Tip: Pinks and Blues always look great!

Front of the border.  At only 12-15” tall it is ideal for the front of the border or use in very narrow border or where you might have limited space.

Containers.  There short, compact habit lends well to container planting.

Cheerful Neighbors:

There are lots of perennial combinations you could use.  Personally, I like pairing blues and pinks together.  Here are a few combination ideas:

Hardy from Zones 4-9, this Butterfly Kisses Echinacea deserves a place in any perennial garden.

Visit www.GreatGardenPlants.com for other terrific coneflowers.

Top 10 Coneflowers by Birds & Blooms Magazine

Sunrise Coneflower - stunning yellow blooms pair well with blue flowering Perovskia

It’s hard to top Coneflowers as an easy to grow drought proof plant. Echinacea or Coneflower is available in an ever growing palette of color with long lasting blooms.  They are easy to grow in the perennial garden providing an often needed late summer color and of course, they are just loved by butterflies!

We recently teamed up with Stacy Tornio from Birds & Blooms Magazine . Stacy provides insights on selecting the best Coneflowers for your backyard.

Read article:   Top 10 Coneflowers

5 Reasons Why Coneflower Marmalade is a Great Garden Plant

Marmalade Coneflower grows up to 30" tall and combines well with Ornamental Grasses, Butterfly Bush and so much more!

Coneflowers are one of the best garden plants.  They tolerate heat, wind, humidity, drought, clay soil, and some shade and come in an array of colors, heights, flower forms. It is really difficult to choose because they are so beautiful.   (ok – I’ll  take three of each just because I can’t make up my mind).

Echinacea Marmalade really caught my attention this past year.  It’s no wonder since it’s from breeder Arie Bloom (Plants Nouveau). Arie has been bringing  us so many amazing, mostly double flowering coneflowers such as Hot Papaya, Pink Double Delight, Coconut Lime, and Marmalade to name a few.

There are a few things I noticed about Marmalade Coneflower this past year and why it is such a  jammin great plant.

1 – Double the Color=Double the Fragrance

Beautifully formed 4” flowers each containing 150 vibrant orange petals. Blooms will range from a oh-so-pretty deep

150 FRAGRANT petals that make great cut flower bouquets

orange to a peachy buff color.  Double flowering forms means double the fragrance in your garden!  Plus Coneflowers make for a great cut flower!

2 – Longest Coneflower to Bloom

Marmalade was in full bloom in Mid-June.  In Michigan, Coneflowers don’t even start blooming in July and still in full bloom in September with any cutting back or deadheading!

3 – Lax Attitude

Coneflowers can vary in habit from upright to varying degrees of lax, more open habit.  The later, like Marmalade makes for a fuller plant while providing cozy company when nestled in between two taller plants  (such as Butterfly Bush and Pennisetum Karley Rose).

4 – Lasting Color

Deep orange blooms ages to a long lasting buff color.  Other coneflowers turn black immediately after the flower fades,

Marmalade has transitioned to a soft, buff color and still going strong in late September in Michigan

but not Marmalade. This coneflower will give you long lasting garden performance late in the season before turning dark.

5 – Highest Coneflower Rating

Every year, Great Garden Plants donate new plants to Chicago Botanical Gardens for their Plant Trials.   We were very pleased to hear from Richard Hawke, Plant Evaluation Manager that amidst hundreds of Coneflowers in their evaluation, this was his favorite Coneflower in 2011 for exceptional display and performance.

Add this charming Coneflower to your perennial garden this year, if you haven’t done so already.

Where to Buy Echinacea Marmalade

Tips on Growing Coneflowers

Double Coneflowers – Meet the Breeder!

Arie Blom & Echinacea Hot Papaya

Breeder Arie Blom & his Hot Papaya Coneflower

I’d like to introduce you to the man behind many of the very BEST double-flowered Coneflowers currently in American gardens. He is our very good friend, Arie Blom of The Netherlands. Arie studied advanced plant breeding at the University of Florida and after receiving his graduate degree, he worked in a tissue culture laboratory in California before returning to Holland.

Arie is an extremely friendly guy and is passionate about his breeding work with Echinacea. I’ve had many opportunities to sit down and talk with Arie and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to visit his seedling fields this summer!

Arie began breeding Coneflowers in 2002 and started in his backyard. A few of his initial goals were to breed for very sturdy, vigorous garden plants with a heavy flowering tendancy.

Echinacea Pink Double Delight from Great Garden Plants

Echinacea Pink Double Delight

Echinacea Pink Double Delight was Arie’s very first introduction and he hit it out of the ballpark!

This bright double pink Coneflower has multitudes of large 2-3″ flowers held atop very strong stems that don’t flop in the dirt. Plants are very well branched and produce a flower show from mid-June until September!

Echinacea Coconut Lime from Great Garden Plants

Echinacea Coconut Lime

Arie’s second introduction was Echinacea Coconut Lime. His breeding goal was to produce a full double-white coneflower and he greatly succeeded!

Coconut Lime Coneflower is extremely floriferous with large 3″ flowers of white which turn a pleasant lime-green as they age. Its strong stems and heavy flower count make it a perfect subject for cut-flowers.

Many people don’t realize that DOUBLE Coneflowers will last over 2 weeks as cut flowers indoors. And, many are highly fragrant…which adds to the show!

Echinacea Hot Papaya from Great Garden Plants

Echinacea Hot Papaya

Then along comes the FIRST-EVER DOUBLE Orange Coneflower with Arie’s Echinacea Hot Papaya! WOW!

When I first saw Hot Papaya Coneflower, I could not believe how tremendously STRONG the stems were! They were like thick pencils! This interspecific cross (a cross between 2 species) has produced this amazingly colorful hybrid with its giant 3″ flowers of brilliant orange and fully double.

Hot Papaya Echinacea also has wonderfully fragrant flowers and I had them last over 18 days as CUT FLOWERS in our offices of Great Garden Plants.

I have the extreme privilege of calling Arie Blom my friend! He is a very passionate plantsman with a willingness to share with others!

Stay tuned NEXT WEEK when I’ll show you his BEST new Double Coneflower for 2011!!! You won’t be disappointed! Chris

Why I love this Coneflower

Red Knee High ConeflowerIf you only try one Coneflower this year – make it Red Knee High PPAF Echinacea.

Why?  You’ll get a good reliable Coneflower that comes back every year and it is drop dead gorgeous!

Dependable? You bet!  It has purpurea in its bloodlines which means it will come back year after year. Nothing wimpy here with great performance and LOTS OF BLOOMS!

Coneflower Red Knee High

Echinacea Red Knee High PPAF

I have it on my list of Goosebump plants – we all have a list like that. They are  plants our neighbors google over and well, they give us goosebumps just talking about them.

Red Knee High – yep it’s knee high all right;  nicely proportioned, blooms a long time and the color pairs well with so many colors –  Place it in the middle of the perennial border  and pair with some blues –(I’m fond of Russian Sage Perovskia and Caryopteris)  Enjoy the  butterflies that linger for the show.

Coneflower tip—if you really want some oh-la-la impact, you just got to plant this beauty in groups of 5 or 7.  Seriously, not just 1 or 2, the more the better!

Hardiness, color, performance, goosebump plant – make sure to include Echinacea Red Knee High PPAF this year in your garden.

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