On Monday, I talked about the benefits of ordering plants online. Today I thought I'd share a story of my first order.
I remember my first online order. I had meticulously scoured the catalogue, determining what exactly I wanted in my new garden. I planned for spring, summer, and fall flowers so my garden would sparkle from the time the snow melted in the spring until the leaves on the trees changed in color in the fall.
Weeks later, I received several boxes of plants. I opened them up, greeted by the fresh scent of dirt and new growth. Pulling each plant from their protective packaging, I envisioned the mature plants shown in the catalogue, their stems reaching for the sky. That is until I opened one package and found a sprig of growth not much bigger than the top third of my pinky. Really? They expected me to plant this small thing and have anything resembling a plant by summer?
I’m sure God with his vast wisdom and abundant creativity was laughing at me when I called customer service and complained. The woman on the other end of the line very kindly explained that the plant would resemble the image in the catalogue during its second year of growth. Staring at the small nubbin of green, I wasn’t convinced. But I planted it anyway.
That year, it grew in size, better than I thought it would. A year later I had full bushes of Coreopsis (shown here), with airy asparagus-type foliage, and flowers resembling small yellow daisies. Perfect. The following year I was already dividing the clumps of coreopsis to plant in other bed, and the fourth year, I was giving some away.
Today, it is one of my very favorite perennials. It’s not invasive, but does grow fairly fast—as my story testifies. The lesson is, don’t be fooled by the size of the plant you receive when you place your order online. You get them cheaper because they send you a small portion of what you buy in the store. But I can guarantee, by the second year, you will be satisfied with the results.
Your turn: Have you ever grown Coreopsis?