Have you ever felt stifled and ham-strung by snooty homeowner associations that won’t let you paint your house orange, magenta, or other gaudy colors because they’re not “tasteful”? Well, here’s an easy way to fight back. Just plant flowers with those very same colors. The new Big Sky series of purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is just the ticket.
Now the original purple coneflower produced blossoms of lavender-pink, rose, or white. Then ItSaul Plants in Alpharetta, Georgia crossed E. purpurea with its cousin, the yellow coneflower (E. paradoxa). Voila! Blooms in colors so screamingly loud you’ll have to wear earplugs at night!
The one pictured is ‘Sunset,’ featuring shocking, golden-orange blooms
with a red-orange cone. Want something even more outrageous? Try
neon-magenta ‘Fatal Attraction” (named, no doubt, for the movie that
proved to be a terrible choice to take a first date). Or rich
golden-yellow ‘Harvest Moon.’ As an added bonus, you’ll notice that
unlike ordinary purple coneflower, these new ones are pleasantly
Garden centers often carry the Big Sky series, but if the one near you doesn’t, try www.parkseed.com. And be gaudy little boys and girls.