Native prairie plants withstand drought
Each August, my back yard becomes a sea of yellow flowers. Even with this summer’s drought, the sea of yellow is glowing. That’s because I’ve created a native prairie garden featuring some hardy species that can withstand hot and dry summer conditions.
Center stage right now are the myriad black-eyed Susans that crop up in new places each year. They tuck themselves into cracks along a stone flower bed, settle into a prairie mix of ironweed with its purple flowers and spew forth lots of golden yellow petals next to rosinweed and prairie dock with softer lemon colors. The Latin name is Rudbeckia hirta, and some folks call them brown-eyed susans or brown daisies.
Black-eyed Susans, for some gardeners, are weeds, but not to me. These are true prairie plants that grow equally well in natural areas as well as back yards. There’s no need to purchase these at garden shops either. My “Susans” started from a couple of plants a neighbor gave me from her yard, and now I’m willing to share mine with others, too. In fact, some of my black-eyed Susans are now growing at a friend’s yard in Wisconsin and I’ll be handing some off to a friend in Mundelein shortly.
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