Plant of the week
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' (Golden rod)
Why you should plant it
Goldenrod has been the backbone of every border in my garden: Good insects love it; the colour ranges from gold to butter to ecru; it has great form. And any field of goldenrod will host a range of species as they merrily reproduce and evolve. Now there are gorgeous cultivars such as 'Fireworks,' which should make this plant take off. It does not cause allergies, as the pollen is way too heavy. But it will bring an autumnal brilliance into any garden.
Where to plant it
It makes a nice clump about 120 centimetres tall and 60 centimetres wide, so you've got to give it some space. It's a natural next to a prairie grass, but it's also a good specimen all by itself. Goldenrod needs full sun to part shade (I have it in the latter and it seems just fine). It puts up with truly awful soil and will eventually be drought-tolerant. A Zone 3 plant, it bears these great blooms from late summer on through September. Dig a nice wide hole and water it in deeply.
What it offers
There is nothing that isn't laudable about this plant: the deep green leaves, the great pop of colour, the attraction it has for birds and insects. And great news: Deer don't like it, so you can safely plant it in a country garden as well as a small city garden. It won't rampage around like many of the species; you can therefore safely keep it tidy in one spot and enjoy it for weeks of spectacular bloom.
Source and cost
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