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Months of cut flowers

Brighten your summer vases with Coreopsis

One of the joys of perennial flower gardening is being able to cut fresh flowers to enjoy inside the home. Lots of beautiful perennial flowers bloom throughout the summer and can keep your vases full.

Many Coreopsis varieties are good cut flowers. Coreopsis ‘Jethro Tull,’ shown below, with its intriguing fluted yellow petals, is beautiful in a vase, but it also performs well in the garden. It is a hybrid of Coreopsis ‘Early Sunrise’ and will bloom from June to August. The flowers are golden yellow and are 1 to 2 inches across.

This heat- and humidity-tolerant plant can also be drought-tolerant once established, but water it weekly during summer dry spells for maximum flower production. Plants grow 15 to 18 inches tall and are typically equally wide. One plant makes a bright show in the garden, but planting several in a grouping looks great and ensures plenty of flowers for cutting.

Plant in full sun and watch the butterflies enjoying the flowers. While regular deadheading is not necessary, it will extend the bloom season. Cut it back in August for a fall flush of flowers. Coreopsis varieties are generally deer-resistant, and Coreopsis ‘Jethro Tull’ will not reseed in the garden like some types.

There are many wonderful Coreopsis varieties besides ‘Jethro Tull.’ You might also consider ‘Early Sunrise,’ a profuse bloomer with 1-inch, semi-double yellow flowers. ‘Mercury Rising’ in the Big Bang series has bold burgundy flowers, and Li’l Bang ‘Daybreak’ shows off its red and yellow blooms. Choose one to add to your cut flower garden or pick all three and leave them in the garden to enjoy all summer long.

Shelly Nold from the August 2015 issue.

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