Last few plants I miss

This is the last of my "plants I miss" posts, but it starts out with one of the first perennials I grew, 'Sweet Dreams' Coreopsis.

I grew this in 2004 for certain, but I tried it a few more years too -- not sure if 2004 was the first or not.


I loved (and still do) the red eyes on the white blooms. When in full flower, this was a stunner!

They say that you should cut back Coreopsis after it blooms and it will bloom again, but I remember deadheading each spent bloom individually, which kept the plant blooming all summer long.

That was back when my garden was smaller so I could dedicate way too much time to a single plant.

The problem was, this plant was not reliably cold-hardy for me. Some winters it would not come back at all, and others it came back as a spindly, weak shadow of its former self. I believe it was the heavy soil I have, even though I planted it in raised beds that should have been well-draining. There is an all-red version of this called 'Limerock Ruby' which I grew one year that was stunning, but that one is an annual here for sure.

Maybe I'll give 'Sweet Dreams' another try.

The next plant I found in the photo archives that I'm missing is this one:

I'm pretty sure this was Helianthus maximiliana, and it put on a fantastic late-season show when I had it.

There were two problems with it though. First, the woodchucks loved it. (I don't know if deer do, as deer were less frequent in my yard back then.) Secondly, I planted it in an area that really gets churned up by moles, and it flopped over quite a bit.

Now that I think about it, I'm really surprised this isn't in my garden still, as it would reseed every year. I'm willing to give this one another try. I wonder if I saved any seeds?

Finally, sweet potato vines. I'm missing not the plants themselves, but the way I used them. I grow them every year, but I haven't put them into these raised beds recently:

I really need to again, as they look fantastic cascading over the walls of the box! I do remember having problems with deer and woodchucks with these though: they love, love, love eating the leaves.

I think planting one closest to the stream is fine, as deer can't get there. The woodchuck is better over rough terrain so could reach it, but he'd have to be pretty desperate to venture this close to my house (especially when he seems to be happy figuring out ways to get into my neighbor's veggie garden).

So I'm going to plant one of these here again this year for sure.

That ends my posts about plants I miss. Although I sometimes cringe looking back at the garden of five or more years ago, I do love rediscovering plants that I once loved!


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scottweberpdx  – (December 22, 2012 at 12:39 PM)  

Ah, I remember having the same experience with Limerock Ruby in the midwest...though, I'm tempted to try it again here...or even Moonbeam, which I used to love...but just haven't planted here for some reason. I actually adore Sweet Potato Vines...but hadn't planted them for years...then, this year, picked up one and it was fabulous, and reminded me how much I liked them...will definitely be squeezing them in again this year.

sandy lawrence –   – (December 22, 2012 at 2:54 PM)  

'Limerock Ruby' was sold here as a perennial in TX Zone 8a but it was not for me or anyone else that I heard from who tried it. Big disappointment; I liked that plant. I'm trying 'Route 66' this year and we'll see if it lives up to its perennial tag. The sweet potato vines often come back for me, and sometimes make a new tuber where a nodule has taken root along the vine, a pleasant surprise. Lovely photos, as always, Alan.

Alan  – (December 22, 2012 at 9:11 PM)  

Limerock Ruby was sold as a perennial here too (in St. Louis) that year. Then next year there were big signs saying "annual". I guess a lot of people got burned. I think it may be worth growing as an annual though -- does anybody know if it reseeds and what the offspring look like?

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (December 23, 2012 at 5:59 AM)  

Those are all plants I have or have tried with varying degrees of success. I simply love the chatreuse colour Ipomoea batatas for foliage contrast and it grows so quickly! But I have to keep replacing mine - do you overwinter or buy new or how do you keep it going?

Hoover Boo  – (December 23, 2012 at 6:27 PM)  

Ditto on the 'Sweet Dreams' and 'Limerock Ruby' here in zone 9B--it wasn't a cold winter that killed them off. I loved them both but I'm not about to pay $12.95 for an annual.

Alan  – (December 23, 2012 at 7:31 PM)  

Christine: I buy new ones each year. I've tried overwintering the tubers a couple of times but didn't have any luck. These are relatively cheap plants too, so I don't mind buying them in the spring. I almost always buy one and propagate by cuttings though.

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