Plant of the week
Coreopsis 'Red Shift' (Tickseed)
Why you should plant it
This outré, heavily floriferous plant has daisy-like flowers that start out – as most tickseeds do – sporting a soft but bright yellow in July. As the days grow shorter and the evenings cooler, the crimson centre enlarges about the same time as all the other floral intensity hits in September, standing up to the wild brilliance in scarlet abundance.
Where to plant it
This plant needs full sun to do the job of transitioning from yellow to crimson and can only take a small amount of shade. It will bloom from July to the end of September into October. It has bigger flowers than most tickseeds and certainly makes a statement, growing 60 centimetres high by 45 centimetres wide in a nicely formed mound. 'Red Shift' needs ordinary soil and is, I'm told, deer-resistant.
What it offers
This plant is ideal for perking up the autumn garden. The ferny foliage looks lovely even out of bloom. Although it must be regularly deadheaded, it attracts bees and butterflies. The blooms are a great boost to the colours of the autumn border, providing nice motion to set off grasses and evergreens. It has done extremely well in containers and seems hardy to Zone 5 and possibly Zone 4 with lots of protection.
Source and cost
Get it for $8 at nurseries including John's Garden Centre in Uxbridge, Ont. (905-862-6175).
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