We've had a milder than normal winter here in Alabama. I think the same can be said for many portions of the country. The end result has been that certain plants have not died back to rest over the winter as they normally do, and others have emerged early. This one for example, has bloomed now all the way until February when normally it dies back in November:
This is Rudbeckia Indian Summer. This is one of my favorites --- drought tolerant, each bloom lasts for what seems like forever, at the height of the season the blooms are massive and it just has such a happy face. It usually just tends to pop up wherever it feels like it as it reseeds itself. Thanks to some encouragement from a fellow Garden Geek, I decided to try my hand at growing the plant from seed this year. I harvested the seeds from the seed heads of some spent blooms (and shared them, of course). I then actually took the time and planted them in little trays to hopefully give them a nice start indoors:
If I remember correctly, they won't bloom this year (assuming of course the seeds grow at all!), but they should give me a multitude of blooms from one of my favorite garden workhorses next year for absolutely free! I've got my fingers crossed!!!!!!