The blooms were so sharp and colorful that it went on my list of plants that I wanted to try in South Florida.
Last spring I started a couple of Gaillardia Aristata seeds to stick in the garden. After they germinated they were transferred to a planting brick where one of the plants got trampled by my dogs and the other grew slowly under the foliage of a bigger plant.
Back in January of this year I dug up the plant to use the planting block for something else. It was stuck in a beat up plastic pot with some homemade compost. I added some holes to the pot top and some wire and made it into a hanging basket.
This was moved out front into the sun and hung up so I could keep an eye on it from the porch.
I had read that the blanket flower likes the sun and that it doesn't like much water.
It didn't take long to figure out that in this hanging pot and South Florida sun the rules didn't apply here.
I found that this plant takes a large drink cup of water per day to keep it from wilting and happy. Exposed to the wind and sun the moisture is quickly evaporated from a hanging basket here.
I had also read that this perennial wild flower doesn't bloom the first year when planted from seed. Of course this didn't apply either because with the warmer weather and its one large cup of rainwater per day the Blanketflower has prospered.
It is now as happy as a pig in ...Ah well anyway it is content and sending out stems with blooms in bursting color.
It may look kind of funky in the hanging basket but I like it . I mean after all this is South Florida where the normal is considered unusual.
The blooms of the blanket flower are so bright you have to love them,right.
The reward for a little patience is well worth it.
And how does this figure in with your 2010 Challenge you ask.....
Well i'm fittin' to tie it all together.
First I had to research the flower to determine what it was in the first place. Then read up on what exactly it likes to grow well. Then disregard everything that I had read because in South Florida the gardening rules don't work here.
Second I grew this plant from seed . One seed at a cost of maybe a dime . It was planted in a rejected old pot that had been saved from the garbage. It was made into a hanging pot with the simple addition of a few holes in the pot rim and a few feet of wire that I was able to bend and twist into the hanger supports.
And last it is growing in the compost that I made in my backyard and watered with saved rainwater.
Did I mention that the Blanket flower is a Perennial that will last for more than one year and re bloom again.
This plant has done well here and I give it the much coveted Sanddune Seal of Approval.