The Ravenna neighborhood in Northeast Seattle is home to many historic and beautifully maintained Craftsman homes, features a large and rambling wooded park full of paths, bridges and streams, and is even the subject of its very own book. Ravenna’s gardens are often spectacular, and many feature extensive landscaping use of the parking strip.
One garden I walked past recently had the most amazing profusion of Gloriosa daisies, aka Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) growing next to the curb – some were even sprouting out of cracks in the pavement:
Many of the flowers were primarily yellow-orange, others had hints of deep rusty red, but the most dramatic were boldy bicolor:
This old-fashioned classic provides a blast of color late into the fall, and although it is a tender perennial in many climates, often reseeds itself (sometimes with abandon!) to bloom again in future years. Prefers full sun to part shade, in moderately fertile, well-drained soil.
I had a few plants, although not of the bi-color sort, in my previous garden, and I think I need to get some going here next year. The asters need a little company – it’s looking a bit too uniformly purple out there at the moment!