Thank goodness for Rudbeckia fulgida “Golsturm”, commonly known as Black-eyed Susans. Rudbeckia is one of the few plantings in my garden that doesn’t seem to be struggling with the weather. Despite the fact that we’ve been watering every day, a number of our plants are showing severe signs of heat stress. I suspect that some of them will need to be replaced next Spring. We lost a tree and several shrubs after last summer’s heat. Every now and then I toy with the idea taking the Rudbeckia out of my garden because it is an odd companion for my roses and Asiatic lilies; but then when midsummer heat sets in – and it is extreme again this year – I am so glad that better judgement prevailed and that the sunny faces of my Black-eyed Susans are still out there to cheer everyone who walks by. As I write this at almost 5 pm, our official temperature in Manhattan, Kansas is 109 degrees F. The thermometer in our yard is reading 112. In the last month, we’ve had 24 days with a high of 100 or over and we’re about 8″ behind in rain for the months of June and July. There is a 40% chance of precipitation for tonight, however, so everyone has their fingers crossed for rain this evening and a cooler day tomorrow. It would surely make the garden happy if that were to happen.