Dusty Miller in the front border backed by rudbeckia - Anchorage, Alaska - September 2002
Common name: Dusty Miller
Plant Link: http://plantsdatabase.com/go/247/
Those are great black eyed susans. I had them one year and they were great plants, but I tried them again the next year and I just could not get good results. It may have been the source in which I bought the plants, maybe some are better stock or genes then others? Otherwise, I can't figure it out, they got the same treatment and location each time.
These are a special variety of rudbeckia... Indian Summer, I think. I wish I could say I grew these, but they were along the side of Alaska Mill & Feed in Anchorage. I think they get a bit more heat & sun up there. I don't have a lot of luck with rudbeckias.
If there are different types of black eyed susans that explains having them work one year and not the next. Some years are also sunnier then others. They took a long time to bloom and soon after blooming they stopped blooming and died. Basically, they were not happy. When a plant is really working you get that feeling that it is doing great.
Boy, that's true, isn't it. There are some plants that are marginally successful here, so some years they are a pleasure, the next a disappointment, bu I keep planting the ones I really like. Here's a page with some rudbeckia cultivars (scroll down): http://www.nickys-nursery.co.uk/seeds/pages/page12.htm