2013 marked our Echinacea’s third year and it was absolutely gorgeous this summer with all of its brilliant blossoms and visiting pollinators (bees and butterflies) buzzing around them all summer long! Though I didn’t actually measure them, I would say the stalks got up to about 4 feet tall for the most part which made for a brilliant eye catcher just to the right of the front gate as you walk into our yard! They were quite the conversation piece on the garden tour as well, which felt wonderful given all the patience we’ve had to practice over the past couple of years waiting for their show!
So, after a phenomenal season and a few fall nights below freezing, I was finally able to get outside last weekend and harvest our Echinacea seed for the very first time! The heads, after a summer full of fantastic orange and rust colored centers, full green foliage and gorgeous purple leaves, were dried, blackened, bristled and bursting with thousands of seeds! I spent a good hour cutting stems, throwing heads in buckets and bowls and marveling at the countless seeds that fell to the ground each time I cut a single stem. Once finished, I walked into the back yard and shook a few heads of their seeds in a couple of strategic spots that I think would be nice to have a few stands of Echinacea in future years.
While I know we will have to wait a bit to be reminded of where I shook some of those seeds, I trust I will be just as happy with a new, beautiful Echinacea stand in two or three years as I was this summer with our lone patch.