Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For 2011 you can choose from many new kinds of echinaceas or purple coneflowers for your cutting garden, including Irresistible echinacea. There are also some wonderful new gaillardias or blanket flowers as well.
Bred by Marco Van Noert, this is hardy to zone four. Nearly three feet tall, these plants begin flowering in mid-summer. New blooms continue to appear into the early fall. The scented blossoms are 3Ĺ inches across. As the flowers age, they change considerably in appearance. The pompom shape starts to develop as the flowers become older. When the blooms first unfurl, the petals are yellow. Over time, these change first to yellow and then pink coral. The centers are citron yellow.
Released by Blooms of Bressingham, this lovely perennial reaches over 1Ĺ feet in height with a spread of a foot. Hardy to zone five, this was a sport of Kimís Knee High. This floriferous variety begins to produce blossoms during mid-summer, continuing into the fall. The pink blooms have a long vase life. A mature plant can produce an amazing number of stems for cutting. The well branched plants have sturdy stems.
Moxie Commotion Gaillardia
A new addition to the Commotion series, Moxie has very intriguing blooms that make great cut flowers. These lovely golden blooms have fluted petals that create a pinwheel-like effect. The centers are a vivid orange and very showy. These flowers are semi-double with lots of petals, which is also true for the other Commotion series. This series includes several others that were introduced earlier, such as Tizzy and Frenzy.
Gallo Peach Gaillardia
This is an annual blanket flower. It has particularly lovely flowers in very beautiful shades of color. The semi-double blooms are a lovely mix of orange and yellow. The outer edges of the petals tend to be yellow, but towards the center they become orange. The large cones are tangerine or orange. As the flowers age, the petals can become reflexed, and bend downwards. The plants are uniform in size, and bloom throughout the summer.