Zone: 3 to 9
Soil: Sand to clay
Light: Full sun to part sun
Bloom colour: Yellow and red
Bloom period: All summer
Height: 1 to 3 feet
Moisture: Dry to medium
Attracts: Bees and butterflies
Notes: Gaillardia have large bold flowers that are considered by some to be quite garish. However, if you want to splash your garden landscape with colour and you have well drained soil, then these flowers are for you. They are attractive to bumblebees and sweat bees. Gaillardia pulchella is native to Ontario while Gaillardia aristata is really a flower of the Western half of North America. They grow well in dry, sandy and sunny conditions and are long blooming.
Gaillardia should be treated like a short lived perennial or an annual. In clay, they are likely to die of root rot over the winter, but, they can reseed themselves. The weedy looking leaves are more than made up for by bicoloured flowers that look like they have been genetically engineered for size and colour.
The shorter Gaillardia aristata looks great towards the front of the border and is easily available in commercial nurseries. Gaillardia pulchella is harder to obtain. Gaillardia x grandiflora is a hybrid of these two species and is also fairly short. Gaillardia pulchella is the tallest of the three plants mentioned being up to 4 feet tall.
Blanketflowers have it all: Eye-catching flowers; long blooms; and wildlife appeal. If you have a well drained soil, then surely you can find space for some of these.