In mid-May, Proven Winners sent me a big box of new plants to try, ones they were bringing to market this year, in a limited release, or next. A couple were duds that sort of never really got going, but most were terrific — and I love getting to preview stuff before it hits retail tables.
The absolute winner among the annuals, by far, is a little yellow gem called Bidens ‘Goldilocks Rocks.’ It boasts cheery golden yellow flowers atop handsome fernlike foliage that has stayed green and attractive through every heat wave this summer. It’s extremely heat and drought tolerant, and you don’t need to deadhead the spent blooms.
I put the three plants from Proven Winners in a new bed near my front door, placing them about 18 inches apart and about a foot behind the edge of my front walk. They filled in quickly and became a solid mound of yellow that’s still nearly 6 feet long and 15 to 18 inches wide. I never watered the ‘Goldilocks Rocks’ plants directly (they probably got runoff from others in the bed that needed water), and I never cut back the dead flowers.
I’ve had a nonstop show of bright little daisy-like flowers since May and they show no sign of letting up. I love the way they spill from the bed into the walkway — their colors look great with bluestone, by the way — so I assume they would be quite handsome in containers.
Bidens is a genus of flowering plants with a variety of common names, including Apache beggarticks, bur-marigolds, stickseeds, tickseeds and tickseed sunflowers. It is closely related to the flowers in the coreopsis family of flowers.
Known botanically as Bidens ferulifolia ‘Goldilocks Rocks,’ this little yellow wonder is not advertised as deer resistant, but I saw no evidence of browsing all summer. I’ve had a terrible time with groundhogs this year, and they, too, left it completely alone.
I’m mostly allergic to the color yellow in the garden, but I love the way this hard-working little annual sets off the other colors around it — purples, maroons, blues, whites and pinks.
Look for ‘Goldilocks Rocks’ in the better garden centers next spring. It will certainly be in my shopping cart.