Choose a pot of gold for your garden

For a golden autumn that extends late in the season, choose your plants wisely

Choose a ‘pot of gold’ for your garden – it’s one of many common names given to Coreopsis and my chosen favourite name over ‘tickseed’, ‘early sunrise’ or ‘golden shower’.

Coreopsis verticillataCoreopsis verticillata 'Grandiflora' AGM is a splendid addition to any garden with sunny, long-lasting and intensely golden blooms that continue to deliver provided prudent and continuous dead heading.

Its clump-forming habit, to 60cm (2ft) or so, and finely divided foliage make it a popular choice for a wide spectrum of garden types and uses. It is widely used for cut flowers, is a magnet for pollinators and will add an air of informality to the garden as well as brighten up a semi-shady nook.

Being perennial and able to thrive in a wide variety of soil types, aspects and all temperatures (but not the very coldest northern climes), has earned it a well-deserved Award of Garden Merit. It is a firm favourite in the front of the beds in the Hot Garden here at RHS Garden Rosemoor where it nestles comfortably alongisde Lobelia cardinalis 'Queen Victoria' AGM, backed by the soft fronds of Panicum virgatum ‘Squaw’ and is further flanked by self-seeded Verbena hastata.

It was designated Florida’s official wildflower in 1991, where it has naturalised across the continent and is found widely throughout meadows and along roadsides. Tickseed, as it is most commonly known, simply refers to the seed that looks like a tick or insect.

Few plants are without folklore and unsurprisingly Coreopsis is no exception. Native Americans used the roots to make a tea to ease abdominal discomforts and bizarrely, it is said to prevent the drinker from being struck by lightning. Its main use, however, was in the production of a yellow-orange dye for yarn and fabrics using C. tinctoria flowers, commonly known as ‘dyer’s tickseed’.

In the book, Victorian Language of Flowers, the Coreopsis flower indicates love at first sight and also, reflects an air of always being cheerful. I think you will agree that these two statements suit this little lovely to a tee.
 

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