USEFULYARD

A Familiar Flower at the Field

It can be good to recognize something you know by name, in a new context, especially if it’s something you already have in your own yard. During our recent trip to Chicago, we went to the Shedd Aquarium, and after our visit I noticed a bright patch of yellow in the distance. Around the Field Museum were several mixed borders full of the same Coreopsis lanceolata that I grow at home.

It’s the dominant plant in our front yard, something that wasn’t a calculated decision. Quite simply, I’m drawn to yellow flowers and I saw the seed packets while shopping. I had been familiar with the popular Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbean’, but I liked how lanceolata was a solid, rich yellow and, honestly, a basic-looking flower.

So it’s nice to see a major institution using the wildflower as its primary color to start the summer. I don’t know if this showing validates my choice, per se, but I appreciate the connection. (My wife is from Chicago and I love visiting the city.) Of course, these plants were standing at a normal 2’ height, and looked tidy, compared to mine.