Meet Coseytown Dollys Heart
, a robust and beautifully deep burgundy red dahlia with an interesting story behind her name; keep reading to find out more.
In 2022 our local Greencastle, Pennsylvania community had the opportunity during its weeklong community-wide triennial homecoming celebration, called Old Home Week
, to name a brand-new variety. This as-yet-unnamed burgundy red dahlia was on display during the Old Home Week Flower Show for all to see and submit name suggestions for, and there was one name that quickly filtered to the top.
As I quickly learned throughout the process, Greencastle has a very long-standing history of residents that dearly love their hometown; a devotion that is palpable and spans generations. More than one citizen suggested the Dolly name, and for different reasons.
One suggestion succinctly detailed the life of Frances ‘Dolly’ Harris
, a courageous Greencastle citizen and Civil War heroine who, as a teenager, defiantly stood up to Confederate Gen. George E. Pickett and his men as they marched through Greencastle, Pennsylvania. I immediately fell in love with this woman's confidence, bravery, and audaciousness. She had heart and her brazen actions are still being talked about some 160 years later.
Another submission suggested the name Dollys Heart, in honor of Dolly Shoemaker
who championed the Old Home Week Flower Show for many decades. I can appreciate the dedication someone can give to a cause over a lifetime. Communities are built upon the legacies developed over time by tenacious people that continue to show up.
For all these reasons, I decided on the name Dollys Heart. It’s a name that embodies the endearing and enduring qualities of two Greencastle citizens that each left a lasting legacy in their own way. A name that speaks of standing up for what you believe in. A name that exudes bravery and tenacity. A name established in town pride and loyalty. LeeAnn's Hybridizer Notes
Coseytown Dollys Heart is a sturdy plant that produces an abundance of dark green foliage. When grown in a row it forms an impactful green hedge with rich colored flowers that bloom all season. Dollys Heart has consistently bloomed at the end of July when tubers are planted mid-May here in south central PA.
The plant has a fantastic branching habit and strong stems, and I’ve always felt like this plant could get away with not being staked. Despite being on the short side for a cut flower dahlia, it blooms above the leaf canopy, and you can harvest 16 inches of stem without sacrificing the plants integrity. Dollys Heart’s growth habit reminds me of a peony plant in size and scale, but with the advantage of blooming all summer until frost, so I know this dahlia would function well as a hands-off landscape plant.