Flashback Friday – My Little Perennial Garden with Echinacea purpurea

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This was my very first little perennial garden in my backyard.

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Marigolds fill a golden pot in a carefree perennial garden – Photo taken in Year 2009 by C. Testa

My first perennial garden was framed with a tiny white picket fence, the type you push into the ground.

The small garden space was filled with a mix of tall blooming perennials, such as Echinacea purpurea (coneflower), which you see on the right – a perfect perennial plant for a carefree setting.

Their blooms lasted all summer long in the garden’s full sun location, which is why I had selected this spot for a garden – and because it was visible from almost every direction in my backyard.

As you can see, it had a small golden container.
Perched up on a chair, simple, filled with bright and vivid Marigolds.

My dear departed cat, Ruby, hides near Ajuga reptans and a Jack and The Pulpit plant

My dear departed cat, Ruby, hides near Ajuga reptans and a jack-in-the-pulpit plant

In the photo above, my dear departed cat, Ruby, is seen sitting by Ajuga reptans (bugleweed). She visited this area to play. When she passed, we buried her in this garden.

The jack-in-the-pulpit plant (Arisaema triphyllum) was found in my woodlands near this area, and transplanted here. It grew well for many years in this spot.

The jack-in-the pulpit plant was the first plant introduced to us in an herbaceous ornamentals’ class at UCONN by our professor. I remember he was surprised when many of us were familiar with it. Discovering a stand of this plant growing naturally in my woodlands was a thrill.


Interesting & Healthy Facts about Echinacea

The center of the plant has hard spines shaped like a sea urchin.

The greek word, echino, means “sea urchin.”

When taken as an extract, Echinacea helps with colds or flu, boosts the immune system, and may increase red blood cell production and oxygen intake.

It is one of the most popular plants in the perennial garden because they are so easy to grow and are drought-tolerant.

Echinacea plants work extremely well as “thrillers” in container gardens and patio pots because they are long lasting, very tall growers, and easy!


ContainerCrazyCT 2015 Calendar
Me in 2010 at the CT Flower Show as a CT Hort Society Volunteer.

Me in 2010 at the CT Flower Show as a CT Hort Society Volunteer.

Don’t forget – the CT Flower and Garden Show in Hartford, CT is next week, starting on Thursday, February 19th.


"Valentine's Day, Greeting Card, Illustration" by kraifreedom curtosey of FreeDigitalImages.net

“Valentine’s Day, Greeting Card, Illustration” by kraifreedom courtesy of FreeDigitalImages.net

TGIF Everyone and Happy Valentine’s Day,

Cathy Testa

New Page: Troublemakers Turned Stars

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Photos by Cathy Testa

Photos by Cathy Testa

We all know everyone has a good and a bad side, and so do plants!  Thus, I’ve added a new sub-menu to my blog called Troublemakers Turned Stars.  Visit this page and my Pinboards to see more images and photos of the plants discussed.  If you have questions, just let me know – I’ll share my plant experience to date with you – or perhaps you have a story to share how the plant caused you some trouble in your gardens or landscape.  But the point of this information is many plants which are troublemakers in the garden have the opposite effect in container gardens and patio pots. They turn into star performers – so why not use them to capitalize on their bad side?  You will be amazed how useful and attractive they become.


Photos by Cathy Testa

Photos by Cathy Testa


Photos by Cathy Testa

Photos by Cathy Testa

Photos by Cathy Testa

Photos by Cathy Testa


Photo by Cathy Testa

Photo by Cathy Testa

See my Page, Troublemakers Turned Stars, to read the details, why the plants are problems or a nuisance in the garden, yet turn into star performers in container gardens and patio pots.  More will be added routinely to keep you ‘posted.’

Written by Cathy Testa