November 3, 2009

The Shifting Faces of Coreopsis


From butter yellow with a red center to a deep burgundy, Coreopsis Big Bang™ 'Redshift' has been changing faces in my garden all summer. This coreopsis influenced my decision to redesign an area of the butterfly garden around the colors of blue, yellow and burgundy.

Out with my camera this morning to photograph (and document) my redesign, I noticed that the coreopsis was showing three colors on one plant. I haven't deadheaded this coreopsis since I planted it, so all of these non-stop blooms have been happening on their own.

The coreopsis has been reliably upright until recently when the abundance of blooms weighed down some of the stems. I think I'll give it a few light trims along the sides next year. I like the height of 24-30 inches so that I don't have to use this coreopsis along the front of the border.

The 'Redshift' is said to bloom July through September, but I'm sure that is for colder zones as mine have been blooming since planted in June and they are still blooming for November! The location is very sunny, with east and south sunbeams most of the day.

The deer haven't touched the coreopsis though their hoof prints indicate that they are responsible for breaking a few stems while they trudge through to reach our manmade stream for water at night.

As mentioned before, this coreopsis influenced the overall color theme and companion plantings for this redesign, but I'm now calling this section "done" until I see the results next spring and summer!

To recap the redesign:

Seeds of annual salvia farcinacea 'blue bedder', nigella 'Miss Jekyll', larkspur 'Galilee Blue' and 'Blue Spire' as well as cornflower 'Blue Boy' have now been sown around the perennials to provide spring blooms.

More seeds for the perennial gaillardia 'Burgundy' were added since I have only three plants there right now. Seeds for perennial gaillardia 'Yellow Queen' were also sown to provide more yellow with the blue and burgundy.

Other perennials include achillea and another coreopsis variety for more yellow, agastache 'Blue Fortune', nepeta 'Walker's Low' and dark red salvia greggii.

Dutch irises in blue/yellow and iris pallida (blue blooms and variegated foliage) were relocated to this area, too. I noticed a lot of the Dutch irises around my gardens are sprouting already! They won't bloom until April, so I suppose they are loving our weather.

For the next week, we'll have fabulous warm sunny weather with little rain which is great for gardeners, but too warm and dry for seeds! Everyday for the next week or so, I will mist all the seeded areas to prevent them from drying out. A time-consuming activity, but well worth the efforts to increase the germination success rate.

As for the coreopsis, I want to see just how much longer they will bloom with a freeze expected for Thursday night!

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Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel

Home, garden and travel tips by Freda Cameron

Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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