Blanket the Garden with Color

By Susan Littlefield

When it comes to a long bloom period in the perennial garden, few plants can top blanket flowers. Their bright, daisy-like flowers just keep coming and coming. All they ask for is plenty of sunshine and well-drained soil; in return, they provide months of low-maintenance color in reds, oranges and yellows.

Now a unique apricot and yellow variety is available to add a cheery note of soft color to garden beds and borders. Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot,' bred by Ernst Benary of America, Inc., has been chosen as an All-America Selections Flower Award winner for its early bloom and distinctive coloring. The petals of the 3 to 3 1/2 inch flowers are bright yellow at their outer edges, shading to rich apricot at the center. This coloration, lighter than that of many other blanket flowers, combines well with both hot and cool hues in the flower garden.

Reaching about a foot tall and wide with a tidy, uniform habit, 'Arizona Apricot' makes a great front-of-the-border or edging plant. Deadhead flowers as they fade and this compact bloomer will continue to be covered with masses of flowers that are great for attracting butterflies. Ironclad hardy, from zones 2-10, and drought-tolerant once it's established, it will bloom in 90-105 days from seed.

All-America Selections winners are new garden seed varieties that have been judged to have superior garden performance in impartial trials in North America.

For more information on Gaillardia 'Arizona Apricot' go to: All-America Selections.

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