Gorgeous gaillardia

July 27th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Gaillardia 'Fanfare'

I’m a big fan of gaillardias. I ordered ‘Fanfare’ from Mr F last year and was pleasantly surprised when last year’s plants came happily through the winter to dazzle the eyes again this year. And they certainly love the sun.

Found as self sown seedling in 1997 by former garden centre manager Richard Read, who went on to develop a huge range of gaillardias and also Shasta daisies, the extraordinary colouring and the lovely structure of the petals made it an instant success. In effect, it’s a version of the well known, and long popular ‘Goblin’, but with the lower half of each petal is rolled into a tube and then flared like a trumpet at the tip.

Unlike the first-year-flowering gaillardias I wrote about here back in the winter,‘Fanfare’ is not raised from seed but from cuttings. It makes neat, compact but not unnaturally squat plants and flowers for months, each new flowers overtopping the fading ones.

It makes a splendid specimen in a terracotta pot, three plants in a 40-45cm pot works fine, and it helps continuity from one year to the next not to use a compost that’s all peat or all peat-substitute. Good drainage is definitely beneficial in taking the plants through the winter.

But the great thing about ‘Fanfare’ gaillardia is that, yes, it loves the sun. But in last year’s rather less exceptional summer, it flowered prolifically too. Give it a try next year.

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Is one of our best known gardening writers. A graduate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Graham was previously Gardening Correspondent of The Observer.
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