Newspaper Columns

Keith Hansen, Smith County Extension Agent, writes a column each week which is published in the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Keith HansenKeith Hansen’s blog

 The link above is to Keith’s blog which includes his column and other gardening news and tips.

Dee Bishop, Smith County Master Gardener, writes a weekly column which is published in the Tyler Morning Telegraph each week.

August 21st Column

Summer always comes with intense heat and sun and its then that many flowers wash outDSCN4190 and fade.   Some just refuse to put up with the heat  and die.  This little native plant (Gaillardia pulchella) is ever so happy no matter how hot it gets.  Gaillardia is spotted all along Texas roadsides spring through fall blooming happily with nary a care.

Much breeding has been done in the past twenty or more years with Gaillardias and thanks to these people, we have several very good varieties of the simple little wildflower.  The picture you see here is the most common color combination.  We also have doubles in yellow and red as well as singles in yellow and red.  Granted there aren’t many colors to choose from, but the colors they do come in are just what is needed in the hot Texas summers.

Gaillardias need to be started from seeds now to be transplanted in October. The little plants will stand until spring when they will grow rapidly blooming all the while until they are about one foot tall and eighteen inches wide.  These little daisy blooms will cover the plant from spring through fall.  If you keep deadheading the old blooms, they will bloom more and more, but towards fall, allow some of the seed heads to develop  for extra plantings  next year.  Gaillardias  are considered perennials, but can up and disappear overnight so; always allow some to seed out.  These little wildflowers may not scream to be noticed, but they are there,  making sure there is color in the summer garden regardless the soil type, rain, heat, or drought.  They only demand good drainage and sun.    We have had the double yellow and the double red Gaillardias as well as these and we love all of them.  They always provide  dependable color for our  Texas summer gardens.


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