One of the fun things about visiting public gardens beyond our region and comfort zone is the fact that you see new plants that you can easily envision in your own garden. This one is a new Solidago canadensis - goldenrod - called 'Sweety,' which was growing nicely at Blithewold in Bristol, R.I. (See earlier posts)
I was struck by how full it was, and indeed, it's a new dwarf variety. It gets only about a foot tall, with lemony yellow flowers that have a pleasant airy look, (supposedly) bloom for a long time and attract butterflies. Additional bonus: This one's bred to be a good cut flower, too.
You might not think of goldenrod as a candidate for cutting, but 'Sweety' is short enough that the stems look like they'd hold up - and make a beautiful filler in a big bouquet or as a standalone. The goldenrod in my garden is more old-fashioned. Pretty, but long-stemmed and floppy before the flowers even open.
I hope we're beyond the point where people turn up their noses at goldenrod, maligning it as the cause of allergies. That was the party line in my house growing up, but we've known for some time that the real culprit is ragweed. It often grows alongside goldenrod, guilty by association only.