In love with Black-eyed Susans

Rudbeckia, commonly referred to as is black-eyed Susans, are among my favorite flowers of the late Summer and early Fall season. If you grow these long-lasting beauties in your garden, cut a few of your fresh flower stems and enjoy designing a floral arrangement for your home. This bright and cheery perennial, also known as a coneflower, is a great choice for a quick and easy floral centerpiece. 


A native of North America, this prolific plant is often used in   ‘Roadsideia’ arrangements – floral slang for designing with flowers found growing wild, along the roadside.  It is also a popular plant among home gardeners, who enjoy the intensity of sunny color Rudbeckia adds to their flowerbeds.

Rudbeckia blooms that are cut when very fresh can last up to 21 days if kept in fresh water. Add flower foods to the water and place the arrangement out of direct sun or heat.  Rudbeckia is closely related to Echinacea, another family of beautiful coneflowers. If you don’t grow either of these in your garden stop by your local florist or grocery market and purchase other coneflowers or mini sunflowers to create a similar arrangement.


For this design, the technique of lacing is used to intertwine the branch stems by inserting one over the other to create a mechanic that will hold the flower stems in place. This type of natural design mechanic is called an armature.                   

  • Add stones to the bottom of the vase.                                       Rudbeckia materials                        
  • Place thin branch tips in the vase one at a time, lacing them together to form an armature to hold the flowers in place.
  • Add water that has flower food added.
  • Remove any foliage or short flower stems that will be below the mouth of the vase.
  • Insert flower stems one group at a time.
  • Place any excess shorter flowers you may have clipped from stems of flower groupings in the arrangement at the top of the vase and down deeper than the other flowers for added visual depth.

Vase of Rudbeckia

To create designs that are similar but have their own unique flair –  Black-eyed Susan arr

  • Add found natural objects such as an interesting piece of wood as the focal point (the point that draws the eye) 
  • Use a collection of small gathered rocks in the base of the vase instead of purchased stones.
  • Place a handful of seashells in the base of the vase.
  • Use large foliage, like Hosta leaves, in the design to add additional color and texture.

Enjoy creating your own arrangement and let me know how well it comes out.

Celebrate life with flowers!



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About Sharon

Flower expert, Sharon McGukin AIFD, AAF, PFCI (Mc Goo kin) is internationally known for teaching others how to celebrate life with flowers.

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