Sunday, 3 July 2016

Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Fanfare'

"Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Fanfare' ", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Gaillardia is a flower which I have drawn previously although this is the first time I have tried drawing this unusual hybrid known as 'Fanfare'.  My previous efforts (see below) were done in the autumn of 2009.

Gaillardia -- Blanket Flower

Gaillardia from Cape Breton

Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Fanfare', is a flowering plant in the sunflower family, Asteraceae, native to North and South America. It is a hybrid Blanket Flower – the Blanket Flower is a cross between two North American native wildflowers, Gaillardia aristata and Gaillardia pulchella

Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Fanfare' has large, daisy-like, upward facing flowers with deep reddish/burnt orange centres from which, flaring outwards like trumpets, are the petals. As these open, the colouring of various parts of the blossom go from red to orange to yellow. The bright green leaves are arranged alternately

Following are a couple of legends regarding the Gaillardia flowers:
"The common name of Blanket Flower given to Gaillardia is believed to have arisen as a reference to Native American rug weaving of the south-western U.S. which, to this very day, includes similar colours. 
While the most common name for all Gaillardia is Blanket Flower, it is also widely known as Indian Blanket.  There is even a legend to accompany the name; 
The story is told of an Indian child lost on the prairie. As the sun was going down, she became cold, damp and very afraid. She asked the Great Spirit to provide her with a blanket. When she awoke at dawn, she found herself “covered” with masses of beautiful flowers whose petals contained the very same colours as those found in her mother's woven blankets."  

It has also been suggested that the name, Blanket Flower, arose from the density of these blossoms – the flowers grow so closely together that in early summer a colony of Gaillardia seems to form a continuous blanket of blooms. 

Additionally, there is a story supposedly told by the Aztec peoples that claims that the Gaillardia blossoms were originally solid yellow. However, during those days following the arrival of the Conquistadors, when so much Aztec blood was spilled, these flowers, feeling great sadness, added red to their petals to honour the slain.” [Original text taken from the “Paghat the Ratgirl” web page bearing title: 'Fanfare' Gaillardia grandiflora". 

The genus name of Gaillardia is taken from the name of M. Gaillard de Marentoneau, 18th-century French magistrate and patron of botany. As for the species name, x grandiflora is taken from the Latin and simply means a hybrid with large flowers. Finally, turning to the cultivar name of 'Fanfare', I wonder if it was so named because the "flowerets" look a bit like trumpets? Just a thought...

Much of the above text was taken from various Internet sources and includes my editing and changes.


Suki's nap is disturbed by a noise in the hallway!
I have mentioned on numerous occasions how Suki has selected various chairs and locations throughout our home which she considers to be exclusively hers.

I have also noted how, for the most part, I have tried to tolerate her apparent sense of ownership; although, I must admit, I do feel a bit embarrassed when Suki sits and stares, unblinkingly, at any guest of mine who has had the audacity to sit in one of her chairs!

Although she has claimed several chairs as her own throughout the years we have been together, Suki has never once attempted to claim my favourite chair (the recliner).  She has left it alone until now...  

Recently, I told you how a few months ago, Suki started getting into my chair each morning after I had finished watching the morning news on TV.  [She knows that my routine is breakfast, TV news from both Canadian and U.S. stations and then on to the computer until lunch time.]  

Suki began exhibiting this new behaviour soon after that traumatic visit to the vet a couple of months ago when her ruptured cruciate ligament was first diagnosed and, so, I just assumed that the warm seat I was leaving behind gave her a bit of emotional comfort and maybe even provided some relief to her arthritic joints.  So, I told myself that I was OK with this.

This week, however, things changed dramatically. Since Monday, Suki has been getting onto my chair as soon as she finishes her breakfast so that when I finish my breakfast and go to sit down in MY chair, there is a big, black cat sprawled across the seat pretending to be so soundly asleep that she cannot hear me yelling at her!

This means that I have to set my coffee mug down, return to the chair, pick up this black, furry thing, deposit it elsewhere, pick up my coffee mug and then return to my now-vacant chair.  Of course, occasionally, I forget to pick up my coffee and so, having already seated myself, am forced to painfully get up again, swearing the entire time, and retrieve my coffee mug. Finally I am free to relax comfortably in my own chair for the next hour -- or so you would think.

For the first five days after I moved her, Suki appeared to accept the inevitable and was content to go back to sleep. However, these past two days, she has jumped off wherever I placed her and come over next to my chair in order to try her "sit and stare unblinkingly" routine on me. Fortunately, I have had years of experience in these matters and so I do not make the mistake of trying to out-stare her. Instead, I simply ignore her until she finally gives up and goes elsewhere to continue her napping.

By the way, after Suki finally settles down somewhere while waiting for me to vacate my chair, she appears to return to that deep sleep normal for a post-breakfast nap; however, it is obvious that she "keeps one ear open" the entire time.  I say this because I have watched in amazement these past couple of mornings at how quickly Suki moves the moment she hears me getting out of my chair and heading for the computer! She quickly jumps up onto the recently-vacated seat of my chair, makes one full turn, plops herself down and, with a deep sigh, returns to her sleeping.

I have informed Suki that this is one battle she cannot win.  I will keep you informed on how the war is progressing; although, I do, occasionally, have my doubts as to how long I will able able to hold out against those big, green eyes and that plaintive meow...

Otherwise, things are much the same as usual at our house.  

Suki and I both stayed home and watched the Canada Day celebrations on TV.  I did go out on my balcony when the fireworks began down by the Lake -- I can see just enough of the western sky from there so that the apex of each exploding firework is visible in the night sky for a few seconds. While fireworks can be stunning, I find that after about 5 minutes, I have had enough.

I only had one medical appointment this past week and I only have one this coming week.  So, thankfully, I won't have to often go out into the hot, humid weather which the forecasters predict will be arriving on Tuesday. Best of all, a dear friend is coming by for a visit on Thursday -- something I am looking forward to very much.

Finally, let me wish a.... 

Belated Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians and a Happy 4th of July to all my readers in the U.S. of A.  



"Icon -- Christ -- Theotokos", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, rev. 2016

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ Luke 10:1-9

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