Echinacea ‘Summer Sky’ – an Orange Coneflower!

I love the big knobby centres of my Echinacea 'Summer Sky'

This coneflower comes from the Big Sky series, and supposed to be  bicoloured; orange with a pink halo.  Echinacea ‘Summer Sky’ is also supposed to be fragrant, but I can’t detect even a hint of fragrance, and I own what my family affectionately refers to as “dog nose” (and believe me, an extra sensitive nose is not necessarily a good thing)!

I planted this coneflower in 2009, during the first year in my new garden.  Unfortunately I planted late (I think it was early July or so) and immediately after transplanting it into the garden the temperatures soared into the 30’s.  The heat baked my poor little coneflower and  I thought it was going to be compost, but it survived, although it didn’t produce more than a couple of spindly blooms.  The flower colour was interesting, a soft orangey shade fading to pink as it aged.

Last year I had high hopes for my Summer Sky coneflower, but I was once again disappointed.  The plant grew well enough, but the flowers contained no trace of orange, instead they were a rather insipid pink, and the petals were thin and ragged!  It’s a wonder I didn’t rip it out, but I’m too frugal for that, and my new garden needs all the plants it can get.

Echinacea 'Summer Sky' in 2010

So here we are in the summer of 2011.  I wasn’t too excited when buds began growing on my coneflower, as I expected the drab pink blossoms I had last year, but lo and behold…

Echinacea 'Summer Sky' in 2011

I just might keep my Echinacea ‘Summer Sky’, now that it’s decided to be an orange coneflower again, now if I could just get that halo effect…


About hortophile

I am a very opinionated, slightly obsessed gardener with decades of experience in the retail nursery industry. A lucky resident of the "Wet Coast" of British Columbia I tread a muddy path between practicality and beauty, with my veggie patch, herb garden and fruits vying for position with the beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers that I can't resist. DON'T ask me to choose between them! I believe in environmental responsibility and common sense.
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8 Responses to Echinacea ‘Summer Sky’ – an Orange Coneflower!

  1. barb19 says:

    You have the patience of a gardener for sure – and it paid off! It’s gorgeous!

  2. sharondjones says:

    I cant tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog! We hope to be able to produce a garden that will bring us as much joy as yours does for you.
    btw, how are the hens? 😉

  3. The flowers look great, now, good for you for hanging in there. I had Echinacea in my former garden and thought they looked spindly, too. Sadly, only had them in for 2 years before the garden got cut down — I might have come to like them better had they had another season or 2. I love the color of these — the orangy pink is very nice. I guess your frugality paid off!!

    • hortophile says:

      Echinacea are wonderfully well behaved perennials, they don’t take off and gallop through the garden, overwhelming less vigorous plants, but they do take some time to settle in. Other than patience, they require little from the gardener though…that’s why I love them!

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