This is part of a series of posts by garden writers highlighting one plant that did exceptionally well in their gardens this year. For other posts in the series, see the links at the end of this blog post.
Sometimes you buy a plant and with your purchase comes previewed hype, raising your expectations for its performance. Sometimes it lives up to that, and sometimes it doesn't. But other times, you get a plant just because you like how it looks at the time you saw it in the garden center, and you hope it continues to look at least that good in your garden for more than a few weeks out of the year.
In spite of my planting it too close to both a rose and a Baptisia, 'Center Stage' has been a real trouper - as in stealing the show from the rose (bless its heart, it managed to push a few blooms up through the Coreopsis). Not only that - and this is HUGE in the world of threadleaf Coreopsis - it doesn't require deadheading!
I made a confession on my Our Little Acre Facebook page a week or so ago, in which I admitted to deadheading - not shearing - my threadleaf Coreopsis plants. Most gardeners will just wait until the first flush of blooms is over and then take the pruners to the entire plant and shear them all off, maybe removing a fourth of the plant's upper growth.
The problem with that for me is that I hate cutting off unopened buds and with these types of Coreopsis, that simply can't be avoided. So I patiently cut the spent blooms off individually and by the time I'm done, my back and neck are usually done, too. But I can't help it. For what it's worth, it pains me to thin things like beets and carrots, too. I've been known to transplant beet thinnings in between the rows.
I'll be moving 'Center Stage' next spring, to a place where it can truly live up to its full potential. That means full sun (it can be grown in part shade too), good drainage, and a space of at least 2½-3 feet around. Terra Nova, who introduced the plant in 2011, lists it as hardy for Zone 5-10.
See what other garden writers loved in their gardens this year:
|Steve Bender ~ Alabama|
|Carolyn Binder ~ Florida|
|Helen Yoest ~ North Carolina|
|Shawna Coronado ~ Illinois|
|Steve Asbell ~ Florida|
|Jenny Peterson ~ Texas|
|Christopher Tidrick ~ Illinois|
|Christina Salwitz ~ Washington|
What worked well for you this summer?