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Sunday, 22 June 2008

The 'spark' in Sparkler Echinacea

I think it is only fair for me to post pictures of this gorgeous echinacea even before the flower comes. This way , its variegated foliage gets the attention it truly deserves before we all become enamored by the pretty rose pink cone flower .. in other words too distracted to really appreciate how wonderful this awesome foliage is. For some strange reason I have not seen this one offered in our garden centers for two years now. I don't know why. I suppose I could ask about it. I'm just glad I found it a few years ago .. and that it put up with me moving it around the garden to find the right spot .. for now ? Is there anyone else out there that thinks this is a beautiful cone flower too ?


16 comments:

Nancy J. Bond said...

Truly beautiful foliage -- even without the blooms!

ourfriendben said...

Wow, that is awesome, Joy! Wish I had some of those. Now, head over to Poor Richard's Almanac and the post "When Luddites play tag"--we have a surprise for you...

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for this ever since you told me about it last year - still without luck. Maybe this week ... who knows.
Rose

cindee said...

I love this coneflower. Mine died...or at least it never came back this year. It was beautiful last year though. The foilage is just as pretty as the flowers. The whole package is a knockout!!!!

Debbie said...

What gorgeous foliage. In recent years, I have begun to appreciate how nice it is to have perennials with nice foliage. This one is very nice.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hello debbie ... yes ! .. I think you have to get over that first phase of gardening when you are looking for flowers 'first" .. then you realize the foliage is really the backbone at times in the garden. : )

Cindee ... sneak another one by the one you think might have died .. the competition might bring it back to life ? and you will have a couple of beauties ? LOL

Rose .. remember you got Tiki Torch and I haven't found that one yet .. but it is odd Sparkler hasn't been on the market here either for a couple of years.

'ben" .. you have to get this one if you ever find it .. and have you been NAUGHTY with TAG things ?????

Nancy it is one of those stand out plants with foliage alone .. but the rose pink flower is awesome too !

Amy said...

I love this foliage - can't wait to see the flowers too! I planted echinacea for the first time this year, just that basic "purple cone flower" type. It seems to be slow to get going, but I've read now that it's normal. Hopefully next year my plants will do better.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Amy .. even the older varieties of cone flower are gorgeous .. Magnus, White Swan, .. I started out with these and still love them .. I'm sure you will too !

Rose said...

That is an attractive plant even without its bloom. I love echinacea, but this is one I've never seen before. Wonder why it's not in the garden centers.

Viooltje said...

Couldn't agree more with your delightful idea to point out the beauty of its variegated foliage. And let me just mention, there's an award waiting for you girls at my place. AGAIN! Thought you might want to know that ;-)

Cheers,
Violet

GardenJoy4Me said...

Violet .. thank you ! I have to get over to your place yet .. we have just found out there is a raccoon setting up in our roof .. so things have been crazy .. a guy is coming tomorrow .. he live traps and screws down all possible entrance ways .. it is detailed and expensive .. BIG sigh

Rose .. if you see it GET IT ! I promise you will love it .. I don't know what has happened in the last few years but with all the "Big Sky" cultivars this one has fallen by the wayside .. hope you can find it !

Anonymous said...

I see where are there two "Rose" people interested in Joy's gardens and comments. This morning I was at a nursery and asked about Sparkler. The gal said that if the supplier did not offer it after 2 years, then it means that something was wrong with it. While we were talking, another customer said that a couple of years ago she bought all types of echinacea - including Sparkler and Razzmatazz to name a few, also Double Decker. Well listen to this ... the first year all was well, the 2nd year every single plant turned into the standard pink cone flower! The guy who owns the nursery said that happens often, and added that Joy is just very lucky that her Sparkler has come back like this. So there you go, 2 cents worth from Oakville.
Rose

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hey Rose from Oakville (as if I didn't know ya' haha).. that explanation could very well be the problem .. but mine have been great and the pink in this flower is not the run of the mill pink .. I don't know how to explain it but it is a light pretty pink .. hope to get pictures so that will show what I'm trying to say ? See any raccoons lately Rose ? LOL

cindee said...

Interesting about the echinaceas. Maybe mine are alive just not the ones I planted?? LOL That would be funny. Hmmm

Anonymous said...

Have I seen any raccoons lately? No ... they all hiked the 401 to Kingston.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Rose ...we now have a well organized "raccon Mafia" in our neighborhood .. thanks ? LOL

Cindee .. stranger things have happened .. like a plant showing up even two years after you thought it went to plant heaven ! haha