I often take different routes on my walks around the neighborhood to check out different gardens and flowers. Right now I am noticing how beautiful all the Rudbeckias are – Black-Eyed Susans and Gloriosa Daisy are the common names. The bright yellow flowers punctuate the late summer garden. Except not my garden.
Every few years I have planted a patch of Black-Eyed Susans, precisely because their flowers are so welcome after many of the other perennials have faded. And my plants have tried and then died.
Theoretically, Rudbeckia are easy to grow – requiring a bit more water to get established the first year, but then naturalizing well, and only requiring dead-heading to keep blooming.
My failure with Rudbeckia means I’ve had to fill in with other yellow flowers – my yellow yarrow and blanket flower are still blooming, and my yellow mum is budded and ready to bloom. But I still have Black-Eyed Susan envy when I walk around the neighborhood.
In doing a little research, I have found that some varieties are too tender to be considered perennials in Denver, and should be treated as annuals. But my go-to gardening source – High Country Gardens – says that while most Rudbeckias are biennial, “Goldsturm” is a true perennial variety, getting bigger and better each year. I did try that variety and failed. For several years.
So – do I try again next year – or just accept the fact that I can’t grow these flowers?
There is no shame in failure – Brene Brown, the voice for so many says, “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.”
OK – I get it – I am willing to experience failure in my garden. But does failure mean to try again with the same flower, or to try something different? What does it mean to foster innovation and creativity in my garden? Is it finding a different way to satisfy late-summer yellow? Or is it persistence and trying again? At what point am I just wasting money and effort?
I’ll ponder this until spring and consider whether or not to forge ahead with Rudbeckia again or plant more mums. I’m inclined to try one more time! Meanwhile, I’m admiring my neighbors’ successes … and the fact that I still have purple in the palette with a raspberry salvia and ornamental oregano, in addition to pink coneflowers.