This is part of a series of posts by garden writers highlighting one plant that did exceptionally well in their gardens this year. For other posts in the series, see the links at the end of this blog post.
This was going to be the year that I gave up on Gazania. I've grown this heat-loving, drought tolerant annual in the past and was underwhelmed with its performance. In my opinion, it didn't bloom enough to cover the strappy, inauspicious foliage. But when I saw 'New Day Bronze Shades' in flats at one of my favorite nurseries this spring, I decided to give Gazania one final try.
I wasn't disappointed. I planted an entire flat (48 plants) on the sunny front corner of our driveway border, spaced about twice as close as the tag recommended and mulched around them.
All summer long, 'New Day Bronze Shades' has been churning out flower after brilliant flower. From yellow centers, ray flowers extend in dark brown to bronze to intense orange gradients. The flowers are what is known as nyctinastic, meaning they only open when in sunlight. Some might consider this disappearing act a negative, but to me their daily transience made me appreciate the blooms even more.
These Gazania are a continually bright and cheerful burst of color. They were the perfect low-growing bedding annual along the front edge of the driveway border. I can only imagine the smiles they inspired as our neighbors have walked along the sidewalk.
Gazania 'New Day Bronze Shades' was among my favorite new plants this year. Some of my fellow garden writers have posted about the plants that really worked for them. Please click on the photos below to learn more.
What was your favorite new plant this year? Leave a comment below!