Hot Stuff

Rudbeckia Goldsturm 001 Wm


Rudbeckia fulgida var ‘Goldsturm’


There was a plant fair at RHS Rosemoor this weekend. For many of the local nurseries it’s one of the last shows of the season. Which means prices are keen. And what better opportunity to find September’s ‘flower of the month’? The bank planting still needs a lift. A real showstopper is required.. the Rudbeckia does it in spades and should carry on blooming well into autumn.



Miscanthus sinensis ‘Ferner Osten’

And a touch of the prairies maybe? I love grasses, especially the tall ones. Grasses that waft gently in the breeze. Today there is plenty of breeze. Plenty of wafting. The photographer is a happy bunny, not.


Stipa arundinacea 001 Wm


Stipa arundinacea

More wafting. The blades take on shades of pink and golden-orange as the weather gets cooler. It’s commonly called the Pheasant’s tail grass.. Oh dear.


And then, just as we got back to the car, I realised I’d left one behind.

Which meant queuing to get in all over again. Mike drove the car to the set down area by the door, studiously avoiding eye contact with anyone who looked like they might move him on.


Persicaria 'Black Field' 001 Wm


Persicaria ‘Black Field’


“You went all the way back for.. THAT???”

“But it’s lovely, just look at the colour of those flowers.”

“It looks like a dock!”

I give up.


2018-02-08T10:20:26+00:00September 4th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. Jo September 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Hmmm, I love Rudbeckias yet I don’t have any in my garden. Perhaps one will turn up as my September plant too.

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm - Reply

      Until recently I’ve tended to avoid yellow. But up on the bank I’m finding plants need to really shout. Yellow does that!

  2. Jenny September 4, 2013 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    We grew the Rudbeckia from seed this year with great success, I’m hoping it will do well in future years too – so pretty. I love the shades of colour in the Stipa arundinacea too. And the other two as well. Great selection!

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      Well done with the seed, a great way to get a mass of colour if you can do it.
      It’s hard to describe the Stipa, it has so many different shades. But it does include quite a vibrant pink and it was that that clinched it!

  3. Anna B September 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Yes the rudbeckia is gorgeous and will look stunning in the slope. I also love persicaria, I have tons of it – very good ground cover and your grasses are beautiful. You cant beat a bit of retail therapy!

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Hi Anna and welcome to rusty duck!
      It’s good to know that persicaria is good for ground cover, much needed on the steep slope. I can see I will be getting more of it too!

      • Anna B September 7, 2013 at 10:17 am - Reply

        Your blog is gorgeous and I’ve added you to my daily reads in bloglovin so I don’t miss another post! I started mine off with just a little cutting and it’s spread rapidly on its own. Good choice and yours is a lovely colour, mine is lighter and a bit two-tone.

        • Jessica September 7, 2013 at 11:30 am - Reply

          Thank you so much for your lovely comment Anna! I am delighted to have found your blog too.
          Now that I’ve discovered it, Persicaria has become a fixture and I’ll be looking for more. When I am being strangled by the stuff and paying someone to come and take it away… remind me I said that!

  4. snowbird September 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Dock indeed! It’s gorgeous. I too love grasses, it’s lovely to hear the wind rustling through them when gardening. xxxx

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Grasses and bamboos. Fantastic rustling plants.

  5. countrysidetales September 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    I grew the Black Eyed Susan from seed three years, do absolutely nothing with it and it comes up in the pot year after year. Fabulous plant. Love it.

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      I can see I’m going to have to try the seed.

  6. Rosie September 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Definitely worth going back for as it is such a gorgeous colour:)

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      It is described on the label as ‘almost black’. Maybe not that, but it is a really deep crimson and does have a certain brooding quality. I hope it maintains the colour and doesn’t fade too pink.

  7. wherefivevalleysmeet September 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    I love grasses and the different colours that they come in – they have a gentle softening effect. Daisies too are a great choice for the bank – have you thought about the many varieties of Helenium that come in delicious browns, burnt orange, yellows, and touches of red.

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      I have one Helenium but would like to get more.. A swathe of hot colours and grasses on the bank would look lovely.

  8. Jacqueline September 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    They are all lovely Jessica, especially the grasses ….. I love all of that swishing and swirling that they do in the breeze…. and, I would have definitely gone back for the Persicaria and, my husband would have probably said the same thing !!!! XXXX

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm - Reply

      I was about to make a sweeping derogatory comment about men in the garden. But of course there are a great many excellent male garden designers. Maybe not here though… !

  9. Vera September 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Jessica, I admire the way in which you remember the names of those plants. How do you do it! Lovely photos by the way,

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      Easy.. I still have the labels! Thanks Vera.

  10. frayed at the edge September 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    You have reminded me that I had some lovely grasses in our last garden – I must put them on the shoppng list for this one!

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      There are some beauties around at the moment. There was one stall at the fair selling only grasses.. difficult to resist!

  11. Marian September 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Beautiful new additions to your garden! Love those grasses.

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      Thanks Marian. I hope I can manage the Miscanthus, not grown it before. It will need to behave on the bank and it can get quite breezy up there.

  12. haggiz September 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Definitely worth going back for! Do the grasses have to be cut back or do they give winter interest too? Julie x

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      The Miscanthus is cut back late winter, but those seed heads must look great after frost. Stipa is an evergreen (or ever orange/pink and green?)

  13. BadPenny September 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Wow, those are stunning as are your photos.

    • Jessica September 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      Thanks Penny.

  14. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA September 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    Don’t let the ‘dock’ comment upset you. Once planted and at home it will look much better besides they do say ” one mans weed is another mans wildflower “. You like it and that’s what counts.
    The rudbeckia will be great. If you chose to deadhead, sprinkle the seeds then. Or, leave the seeds heads on for birds to scatter. I leave some like that and iris Siberia heads on to poke through the snow during winter.
    Grasses too are great. I use a mix of rudbeckia with pennisetum alopecuroides. Love the inflorescence on them.

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 12:11 am - Reply

      I am used to him Suzanne. My beloved alchemilla mollis lives in perpetual fear of the lawnmower – it is too untidy apparently.
      Leaving the rudbeckia seeds for the birds is a lovely idea. The pennisetum looks great. I have ‘Karley Rose’ already, which has to be one of my favourite grasses.

  15. Freda September 4, 2013 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    I have that persicaria (but once it gets going it does spread!). Lovely choices for autumn and lovely photographs.

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 12:16 am - Reply

      Hi Freda, and welcome to rusty duck!
      Thanks for that tip.. I will give it plenty of room. It’s going on a steeply sloping bank where its spread will be welcome. The more ground covered, the less I have to risk life and limb to weed!

  16. Anna September 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Fancy forgetting that beauty – the sun must have been hot ๐Ÿ™‚ Some other great purchases too Jessica.

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 12:18 am - Reply

      I should have got more of them, I think they will be useful!

  17. Em September 5, 2013 at 9:54 am - Reply

    It’s going to look amazing all together. I have had many of these plant disagreements over the years. Now I just do it without discussion and he doesn’t even notice. I also have the wafting problem. Many a time I’ve come home with what I thought were stunning grassy photos, only to find them blurred. The problem is, without my reading specs, they all look blurred on the screen when I take them!

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      Having tried to take photos on Dartmoor I can quite understand the problem, lack of reading specs aside. It just makes your shots all the more remarkable!

  18. rachel September 5, 2013 at 11:22 am - Reply

    It does look like a dock… albeit a rather posh one. So what.

    I was nurturing the hyssop for ages until I realised that not only was it not hyssop at all, but a rampant weed (a sort of dead nettle) and was everywhere in the garden.

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      When I was at the plant fair I spotted someone selling something that I’d just chucked out, thinking it was a weed. I didn’t dare look at the price..

  19. Jennifer Connell September 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    This is my first visit. I love the ducks in the header and can well identify with the challenges of owning a home in serious need of a makeover. Our house is 100 years old (young by European standards) and has many quirks.
    I have Rudbeckia in patches and can’t imagine the garden without it. I don’t have Persicaria โ€˜Black Fieldโ€™…yet. Ornamental grasses are plants that I have begun to add recently- so far I am completely smitten with them.

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      Hi Jennifer and welcome to rusty duck!
      It can be very satisfying working on a quirky old house, albeit hard graft.
      I’ve just planted the Rudbeckia this morning, in the middle of the bank. I bet you can see it from space! I do love grasses. The only downside I’ve found is that some seed prolifically. But it’s easy (if tedious) weeding and well worth it for the beauty of the main plant.

  20. woolythymes September 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    I have a feeling if those rudbeckias get established….they will self-seed beautifully. And you have the perfect spot for them…unlike me, with a fairly small garden space. They have decided to completely take over—-every year, I ruthlessly (now—I used to be sort of careful about it!) yank out as much of the new growth as I can find…assured that there will still be plenty growing! I have to call them ‘pretty’—even though I also call them ‘invasive’ under my breath!

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      Oh dear.. I’ve left it plenty of space for now but it sounds like I’ll be joining you in a year or two!

  21. elaine September 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    The rudbeckias have been outstanding this year – I always grow them as they cheer me up every day.

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      For years I’ve avoided yellow, wrongly as it turns out. It is very cheering.

  22. Cathy September 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    I like persicaria too although I don’t have this one. Lots of bloggers are showing off their grasses and and I think the time has come for me to take them a bit more seriously too. The rudbeckia is lovely, despite being yellow and I too have got one that is just establishing itself (well, it’s happy THIS year at least!). Lovely to hear what other people are growing – thanks for sharing

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm - Reply

      Have you been a yellow avoider too? I always found it difficult to place, but the bank calls for bold colour combos. Anything too bland just gets lost when viewed from below.

  23. Simone September 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    On this ocassion I think I’m with Mike! I do like all the other purchases though especially the Rudbeckia – it reminds me of echinacea.

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      My ‘dock’ will look lovely when planted, honest!!

  24. CJ September 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    It’s lovely, as are the others. I do like your choices very much.

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks CJ. The race is on to get them all planted before tomorrow’s rain. I think I have until lunchtime, looking at the forecast tonight.

  25. Mise September 5, 2013 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Beautiful choices, and beautifully photographed. I didn’t even know I wanted a Rudbeckia until I came here.

    • Jessica September 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm - Reply

      Thank you Mise. And my pleasure to be of service ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Linda September 6, 2013 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Those plants look like good choices! Your photos are always good – and helpful for me as a gardener who would like more ideas re. new planting.

    • Jessica September 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      I think this is why I have become so addicted to blogging. There are so many ideas to be found and shared.

  27. Denise September 6, 2013 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Apparently hens dislike red flowers and eat them!

    • Jessica September 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm - Reply

      Hmmm.. I think pheasants have the same idea.

  28. welshhillsagain September 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    I like the persicaria! I have a deep pink one which I love but it does indeed spread like wildfire. That’s fine with me because, like you, I have lots of ground to cover. I agree with the comment about just sorting out the planting you want and not consulting. My husband can very easily fail to get what I am trying to do when it is a theory and really like it when it is a practice so I just get on with it these days!

    • Jessica September 6, 2013 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      Oh Elizabeth, it is just the same here! If I had planted the Persicaria before he had seen it close up he would have loved it. I do believe, though, it has grown by a third in the five days we have had it..

  29. Janet/Plantaliscious September 7, 2013 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Great choices. “Like a dock” indeed. Clearly more educ required!

    • Jessica September 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      I am working on it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. John going gently September 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    Rudbeckia always looks scruffy but I do like it

    • Jessica September 8, 2013 at 10:44 am - Reply

      I hope it will provide a real shot of colour… when other things are starting to fade.

  31. Caro September 8, 2013 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Totally sympathise with taking photos in the wind – a gust always seems to spring up when I’m out with my camera! Rudbeckia and echinacea are my showstopper perennials – a blast of colour among the veg patch greenery! I’ve got three of each now but will have to find room for some persicaria, gorgeous colour – I laughed out loud at your husband’s comment! Love the fact that it spreads, oh goody!! Plants for free!

    • Jessica September 8, 2013 at 10:49 am - Reply

      Hi Caro and welcome to rusty duck!
      A woman after my own heart.. I really need things that spread right now, with so much bare earth to cover. It will look a lot better than the weeds!

  32. jabblog September 8, 2013 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I like rudbeckia – cheerful and unpretentious.

    • Jessica September 8, 2013 at 10:51 am - Reply

      It has lifted the bank planting already… and adds depth by really attracting the eye.

  33. young at heart September 9, 2013 at 10:03 am - Reply

    ooh utterly beautiful!!

    • Jessica September 9, 2013 at 11:16 am - Reply

      A colour pop!

  34. Natalie September 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Men. They really have no clue, do they? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Jessica September 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      None. Zero. Zilch.

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