The brightly coloured daisy flowers of Gaillardia grandiflora, Blanket Flower, are a long blooming choice for hot, dry areas. They are very drought tolerant, do well in containers and make excellent cut flowers. Cutting them back hard in early September, forces new leaf growth and prevents the plants from blooming to death.
They bloom from June to September in well drained soil. Their spread is 30 cm (12") and are a wonderful choice for borders and meadows.
Gaillardia grandiflora are hardy from Zones 2 - 9 in full sun. A work horse in my dry, sandy garden. Give them a try in your garden.
Love-in-a-Mist has gauzy, fern-like foliage with starry flowers of clean blue. It contrasts beautiful with plants of rigid form such as irises. It prefers to grow in full sun and the soil should be of average fertility, light and well drained.
It grows 40-60 cm (16-24") tall and has a spread of 20-30 cm (8-12") in flower colours of blue, white pink and purple. This plant resents having its roots disturbed, so direct seed in spring. Love-in-a-mist has a tendency to self-sow and may show up in unexpected spots in the garden for years to come.
This attractive, airy plant is often used in mixed beds and borders where the flowers appear to be floating over the delicate foliage. The blooming may slow down and the plants may die back if the weather gets too hot for them during the summer.
The stems of this plant can be a bit floppy and may benefit from being stalked with twiggy branches. Poke the branches in around the plants while they are young, and the plants will grow up between the twigs.