Coreopsis (and Company) in the Cottage Garden

Coreopsis 'Star Cluster' in bloom with companions
Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy' (foliage left)
 echinacea (multiple varieties back)
 and purple phlox 'Nicky'.
Three plants of Coreopsis 'Star Cluster' PPAF were added to my cottage garden in 2011. I was so impressed by the performance and beauty of this coreopsis, that I purchased five more plants this spring.

This 2010 introduction in the Big Bang ™ series is from Darrell Probst. For several years, I've happily grown his taller Coreopsis 'Red Shift' in the deer resistant meadow garden. 'Star Cluster' is shorter at 18-14 inches high and wide, making it more suitable for the scale of my cottage garden.

A few months ago, Darrell sent me an email about my experience with the color of the 'Star Cluster' here in the southeast. As expected, the coreopsis begins to bloom a creamy white and the deep purple eye spreads from the center during the cooler weather in the fall.

Deadheading isn't required for this long-blooming perennial, but I do a bit of shaping of the plants when I'm tidying up the garden.

Suitable for zones 5-9, this full sun plant is a great performer, being reliably rabbit and deer resistant. In the cottage garden, the coreopsis grows in rich soil, but is suitable for average soil such as in the drier meadow garden.

Given the long bloom season, I've surrounded the coreopsis with a number of blooming perennials to complement the plant. Those include garden phlox, coneflowers (multiple varieties), daylily 'Joan Senior' (similar bloom color) and salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue'.

The dark foliage of eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy' is especially pleasing to me in combination with 'Star Cluster' blooms. This is the first year for eucomis in the cottage garden, so the blooms are just beginning to form. I anticipate that this duo will be one of my favorite combinations!
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