Plant of the Month Aug 1991

Gaillardia grandiflora... even the name sounds beautiful. I was driving down a neighborhood street in Tucson when this bright splash of vibrant red color forced me to slow down. Someone had planted the strip between the sidewalk and the road with Gaillardia, the goblin variety, and what an impressive sight it was. That was the first time I had taken notice of Gaillardia in a garden.

After that time, I did some research into Gaillardia. I found that it had been developed from native wildflowers. It is well-adapted to the low water desert environment and often reseeds itself. This makes a good choice to add color to the arid landscape.

Gaillardia has found a place in my garden. It gives me a good show every year. So often I have tried to start a flower bed, but about mid-summer I would lose my drive to take care of it. With the Gaillardia, I can give it as much neglect as my mid-summer doldrums can dish out, and it still holds up like a trooper. It makes great cut flowers for those who like to bring their flowers indoors.

Each year I like to take some of the seeds from the end of the summer and sow them where I want them to grow the next year. I find that if I let them seed on their own, that each year the birds get more seed and I get fewer Gaillardia.

So, maybe you would like to make Gaillardia grandiflora an annual part of your garden. It is available at nurseries and in many catalogues under the names Gaillardia, Blanket flower, or Goblin Blanket Flower. If you do, you will not be disappointed.

Peter Whitman
August, 1991