|The white and yellow variety on the right, also labeled 'New Day Yellow,' is a recent addition to the backyard border
Heat doesn't bother them and get by with a moderate amount of water. They have a neat mounded form, growing 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) tall and wide. The flowers close when the sun disappears but, with regular deadheading, they continue to produce new blooms. And they mix easily with other plants.
|The Gazania used as filler and edging plants in the fountain border
After G. 'New Day Yellow' broke down my reservations about Gazanias, I fell prey to another cultivar, G. 'White Flame,' part of the 'Kiss' series.
|Officially called 'Kiss Frosty White Flame' they have rose or burgundy stripes on a cream or pale yellow background
I picked these up, also in a 6-pack, back in mid-December when I was looking for plants to fill in the blank spaces in my front garden after we removed the lawn. The colors mixed well with the Coprosma and Phormium I'd selected for the area on the north side of the front walkway.
|It was hard to believe I found something that could hold its own with Coprosma 'Inferno'
|as well as Phormium 'Maori Queen'
I've been trying to find more of these plants since, hoping to fill in blank spaces in the front beds adjoining the driveway to knit the areas together. I haven't been very successful. However, last weekend, I found six-packs of a G. 'Kiss Flame Mix.' The mix includes vivid orange, yellow and gold tones, some of which would look ghastly in the front border so I'm going to wait until they bloom to distribute them in my garden - I have a couple of areas in mind for the orange-flowered variety. In the meantime, I'm using my raised vegetable beds as a nursery for the baby plants. Wherever the new plants end up, I trust they'll handle what's likely to be a hot, dry summer, made more so by our new water restrictions.
These Gazania rigens hybrids are my favorite plants this week. They're perennial in USDA zones 9-11 but can be over-wintered indoors elsewhere. The only criticism I found of them on-line was that rabbits like them. For other gardeners' favorites, check in with Loree at danger garden on the last Friday of each month for her favorites wrap-up.
All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party