Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Many Faces of Gazania


On the heels of all those blooms, here are some more. This is one of my favorite annuals and one that's super easy to grow from seed. The first year I had gazanias (2005), I bought the young plants at a local plant center. I let some of them go to seed and I saved it for the following year.

This year, I wanted to try some different varieties than the 'Kiss Mix' I'd grown the first and second years, so instead of saving last year's seed, I bought three new varieties from Park Seed: 'Sunshine Mix', 'Daybreak Petticoat Mix', and 'Dynastar Vanilla Ice'.

All three of these were slower to produce flowers than the 'Kiss Mix' seeds did, but grew into thick, healthy plants with the characteristic abstract-patterned blooms. It's downright fun to watch what new pattern is going to emerge with each new blossom. You just never know for sure . . .










And from 2006's 'Kiss Mix' . . .


Gazanias are quite frost-resistant, I've found. Until we get below-freezing temperatures at night on a regular basis, they'll likely keep blooming. Last winter, I dug up the green plants and potted them so I could keep them a while longer up on the patio. They remained green pretty much throughout the winter, much to my amazement.

Somewhere close to spring, I noticed most of the gazanias in the pot had died, which is what I expected would happen. But much to my amazement, one of them was still alive! I began to care for it by making sure it got the water and sun it needed and it began to grow again. Several weeks later, it put out a flower bud. But something wasn't quite right about it.

When the bud opened, I realized the plant I'd been caring for so attentively was not a gazania after all. It was a Taraxacum officinale. A dandelion.


13 comments:

No Rain said...

These are beautiful photos. I love Gazanias and may have to check out some of these mixes. I haven't seen any of them in our nurseries. You have a great blog and I enjoy visiting.
Aiyana

Vanillalotus said...

I've seen a few Gazania photos on several blogs. They are on my must have list. All the photos are dizzing. They different colors and patterns are beautiful. I'm sorry to hear that you watered a weed. Tricky bugger.

verobirdie said...

This is a Queen of Beauty competition, with each gazania giving its best to be noticed.
Difficult to choose one! And your pictures are as beautiful as the plants themselves.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

LOL, it can happen to the best of us. I also found out that the plant I'd been carefully nursing turned out to be a weed. I like your Gazanias, such bright and cheerful flowers! Must try them next year too.

Barbara said...

Gazania is a flower I always bring in connection with my mother-in-law! She has got them in her garden too, but they are not as extraordinary as yours! Just beautiful your pics!
Have a sunny weekend!
Barbara

Katie said...

I can totally see why you nurtured a dandelion thinking it was a ganzania. Good job!

jodi said...

These are just gorgeous, Kylee! I wish I had gotten some...maybe next year. Thanks for sharing these.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your Gazanias are beautiful mixes. I LOL when I read about your dandelion. I have done similarly only with a big Horse weed in my garden. Amazing how healthy those weeds can be. They always deliver their promise of a blossom.

Shady Gardener said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful site. I'm in Iowa.

Ki said...

At one time I thought Gazanias were too gaudy but they turned out to be a fun plant because of the different color patterns. Interesting how the different colors in each flower accentuates the other colors. It would be interesting to view the flower under UV lighting. I would bet that the duller colors forming a ring around the center would fluoresce in a brilliant color.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Wonderful presentation, Kylee!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Those pictures are gorgeous! They look just like a kaleidoscope! I bought gazania seeds last year and didn't plant them. Did you winter sow these?

Rosehaven Cottage said...

You're killin' me here, Kylee. Now I have to add more gazanias to my wishlist! My poor Hubby! Gazanias are a real favorite of mine because around here they stay green year round and bloom year round. Looks like the gardening budget for January just got a little bit bigger to accommodate seeds. ;) Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

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