Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Common Indian Blanket Flower

Though lots of flowers in the front garden are still revving up for their summer showings, these wonderfully cheerful little guys have already started their engines and are well on the way to their usual summer-long bloom season. Though they may be a rather humble native wildflower in these parts, (the commonly called Indian) Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia aristata) make a wonderfully showy and carefree addition to practically any garden.

They have a lot going for them: they're incredibly tolerant of drought and poor soil conditions (in which they positively thrive), they bloom practically non-stop from May till frost, and they naturalize freely (almost too much so at times) even under the harshest of conditions. Oh, and they're bee and butterfly magnets as well! The fact that they're incredibly pretty is just a bonus ... I started with a packet of seeds about six years or so ago and every example of this flower to be found in the various areas of our garden descends from that original pack of seeds. To my mind, there's no easier perennial to start in your garden from seeds and given just a minimum amount of attention the first year (e.g. good sun and regular waterings), they'll happily start popping up all over the place ... we've even had them grow in the cracks of the driveway and sidewalk. As such an eager naturalizer, it's probably best to decide what areas you want them to populate in case they get a bit too rambunctious ... but in the years we've grown them, we've never had a problem with giving extra ones away to other gardeners, because they are that easy to get to thrive in truly poor conditions. A few years back I felt they were getting a bit too enthusiastic and decided that I wanted to keep them relatively confined to an area along the sidewalk, so I just dug up all the "inconvenient" ones and gave them away. Now I almost wish I had been a bit less harsh on them, so I'm just letting them grow at will at this point so they can rebuild their presence in other places.

Gaillardia is incredibly hardy, and will grow happily from Zones 3-8, which makes them an attractive choice for a wide range of gardening conditions. All they ask is for a generous amount of sun, preferably a poorish soil (they will even grow in sand!), some room to spread and a little extra attention when you are getting them established. They will bloom profusely all summer long and respond well to deadheading (if you can keep up with them!), but if you don't have the time, they will still reward you amply for your efforts. They also self-seed with a vengeance, so if you're worried about them spreading too rapidly, deadheading is a must in that situation. The seed heads remind me a lot of the dandelion's tactic... they form dense clusters of seeds, each with its own little cottony tuft on the top of a little triangular seed that resembles an arrowhead. As such, they are easily carried by the wind, and when they fall, they naturally point right into the ground where they will likely sprout the following season. I've always thought they had an ingenious seeding strategy, which accounts for their easy dispersal and propensity to populate areas far away from the parent plant.

For those who (like us) prefer to include as many native plants as possible in the garden, Gaillardia is a must have plant that blends well with ornamental grasses, Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), Mallows, and other prairie natives. This particular clump has some large purple clover (which just moved in from somewhere) as a companion, and the two look really natural together. And if you're a fan of photographing bees and butterflies, you'll never want for occasions to find one or the other feeding or taking a rest on a blanket flower, as they're very popular destinations for both insects.

In recent years, Gaillardia seems to have undergone a resurgence of interest among gardeners and many new hybrids have been introduced just in the last couple of years. I've not grown any of the newer hybrids (and there are some stunning examples among them!), preferring to stay as close to the native as possible, but I may branch out a bit in the future, just to give them a try. Though I can't confirm it myself, I suspect that the more hybridized versions are probably less prone to overspreading their bounds, as many hybrid cultivars tend to be less aggressive than their breeding stock. In any case, just pick up any good seed or plant catalogue and take a look... you'll find that Gaillardia comes in a wide array of colour combinations and there's sure to be one to your liking. For now though, I'm sticking with the tried and true Gaillardia aristata, which exhibits an amazing degree of variation itself from flower to flower. Oh, and yes, they make a durable cut flower in the vase as well. I often combine them with Zinnias later in the summer, which is a wonderful combination of flower types and range of pure fire colours.


olivia said...

Morning IVG. Those sound like they're too good to be true -- bright colours, profuse blooming, poor soil growing, self-seeding, etc. :)

They're very pretty.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Would I like to you Olivia? Truly, they are that easy! Like I said, pretty is just a bonus, hehe. You should be able to find these easily out your way, if only a pack of seeds. You see of course why I like them so much, eh? :-)

oakleyses said...

wedding dress, iphone 6 case, converse shoes, moncler, pandora jewelry, hollister canada, parajumpers outlet, moncler, moncler, canada goose pas cher, moncler, oakley, moncler outlet, vans, coach outlet, pandora uk, canada goose, supra shoes, hollister clothing, ugg, uggs canada, ray ban, canada goose, lancel, pandora charms, moncler, juicy couture outlet, links of london uk, juicy couture outlet, gucci, ralph lauren, hollister, thomas sabo uk, louboutin, karen millen, moncler, montre femme, swarovski jewelry, toms outlet, replica watches, air max, converse, nike air max, canada goose uk, timberland shoes, baseball bats, louis vuitton canada, swarovski uk

oakleyses said...

lululemon outlet, nfl jerseys, babyliss pro, ugg, valentino shoes, mcm handbags, north face jackets, nike huarache, instyler ionic styler, nike trainers, canada goose outlet, ferragamo shoes, roshe run, soccer jerseys, giuseppe zanotti, canada goose, chi flat iron, mac cosmetics, soccer shoes, ugg outlet, ugg soldes, canada goose outlet, herve leger, new balance outlet, birkin bag, wedding dresses, insanity workout, beats headphones, north face outlet, celine handbags, reebok shoes, vans outlet, rolex watches, hollister, abercrombie and fitch, uggs on sale, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs outlet, mont blanc pens, p90x workout, jimmy choo shoes, uggs outlet, ghd, bottega veneta, longchamp, asics shoes, ugg boots

oakleyses said...

michael kors uk, north face pas cher, air max pas cher, longchamp, chaussure louboutin, louis vuitton pas cher, hollister, true religion outlet, ralph lauren, barbour, timberland, new balance pas cher, sac michael kors, hollister, true religion jeans, air jordan, nike blazer pas cher, louis vuitton, tn pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, mulberry, air max, guess pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, nike roshe run, hermes pas cher, converse pas cher, nike free pas cher, vans pas cher, ray ban pas cher, scarpe hogan, michael kors canada, lululemon, nike air force, lacoste pas cher, nike air max, abercrombie and fitch, sac louis vuitton, north face, longchamp pas cher, nike air max, louis vuitton uk, nike free, burberry pas cher, oakley pas cher, ray ban uk, nike roshe

oakleyses said...

tory burch outlet, polo ralph lauren, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, coach outlet, gucci handbags, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, cheap oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet online, nike shoes, longchamp outlet online, nike free, coach outlet store online, christian louboutin shoes, longchamp handbags, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton handbags, nike air max, true religion outlet, burberry outlet online, longchamp outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet online, red bottom shoes, prada outlet, coach purses, tiffany and co jewelry, ray ban outlet, louis vuitton, tiffany jewelry, oakley vault, kate spade handbags, oakley sunglasses, kate spade outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, true religion, michael kors outlet store, burberry outlet online, chanel handbags, coach outlet, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin

Baztab Music said...

دانلود آهنگ جدید

Baztab Music said...

آهنگ٬ آهنگ جدید٬ بازتاب موزیک٬ دانلود آهنگ٬ دانلود آهنگ جدید٬ سایت بازتاب موزیک٬ موزیک جدید

دانلود آهنگ قدیمی,دانلود موزیک ویدیو,دانلود فیلم,آهنگ قدیمی,دانلود آهنگ,دانلود آلبوم,دانلود فول آلبوم,دانلود موزیک ویدیو جدید,دانلود اهنگ جدید,دانلود اهنگ,

دانلود موزیک جدید,دانلود آهنگ

پنل تلگرام,پنل اس ام اس

پنل پیامک صوتی

نمایندگی پنل تلگرام,نمایندگی پنل واتس آپ, پنل وایبر,پنل واتس آپ, پنل تلگرام تبلیغ, پنل اس ام اس,پنل پیامک, پنل تیک تاک, خرید پنل واتس آپ,سامانه پیامک, سامانه پیام کوتاه,

شارژ ایرانسل,شارژ همراه اول,

سئو,بهینه سازی سایت,طراحی وب سایت,

خرید پنل اس ام اس,سامانه پیام کوتاه,

تبلیغات رایگان,

طراحی سایت,خرید شارژ,آگهی رایگان,خرید شارژ,

Baztab Music said...


Baztab Music said...

خرید شارژ مستقیم ایرانسل

شارژ مستقیم ایرانسل

پنل اس ام اس

تخلیه چاه

لوله بازکنی

دانلود اهنگ جدید

سامانه پیامک

chenlina said...

nike basketball shoes
nike factory outlet
toms shoes
adidas shoes
oakley vault
replica watches
timberland boots
ray ban sunglasses
cheap ray ban sunglasses
air jordans
tiffany and co
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
ray ban sunglasses
nike sb shoes
christian louboutin sale
toms wedges
burberry outlet
michael kors outlet
toms outlet
polo ralph lauren
louis vuitton
asics outlet
coach factory outlet
nike air max
coach outlet store online clearances
ralph lauren outlet
louis vuitton purses
louis vuitton handbags
louis vuitton outlet
oakley sunglasses
toms outlet
coach factory outlet
giuseppe zanotti
coach outlet
kate spade handbags
cheap toms
running shoes
oakley vault

raybanoutlet001 said...

michael kors outlet
coach outlet
michael kors uk
michael kors outlet online
nike factory outlet
ugg boots
ugg outlet
jerseys wholesale
valentino outlet
nike free run

jeje said...

michael kors outlet
hermes belt
longchamp bags
pandora bracelet
reebok outlet
air jordan
new england patriots jerseys
jordan retro
adidas stan smith
huarache shoes