Tuesday, 8 May 2007

'Daisy, daisy...'

On sunny days in Summer when I was a little girl, I spent many happy hours sitting on the grass making daisy chains with my friends.
I liked the bright yellow centres, sometimes tinged with green, and the rosette of dainty snow- white petals, tinged red at the tips when closed.

It was my dad who told me the story of how the daisy got its name, so-called because it is the ‘day’s eye’, as it opens with the light and closes again when the day is done. Perhaps that is where we get the expression, ‘as fresh as a daisy’, to describe the feeling after a good night’s sleep.
Daisies are among our most common wild flowers. We walk all over them, crushing them with our feet, and snip their heads off when cutting the grass, yet still they bounce back again. Perhaps, because they are so ordinary, they are seldom appreciated.
In the language of flowers, the daisy is said to represent innocence and, when closed, it is the emblem of purity.
Here at Barleycorn, having no grass because of my hay-fever, our elder son sowed a packet of ox-eye daisy seeds. Sixteen years later, they grow in profusion under the trees and around the ponds, making nectar borders for bees and butterflies.

Luther Burbank said, ‘Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.’ I feel that sentiment applies to all flowers, and, none more so, than the humble daisy.


Sheila said...

The daisies are beautiful, and I recall sitting with my sister on the lawn making daisy chains. Your ox eye daisies are lovely, and are they foxgloves I see growing up between them..?
Luther Burbank knew what he was talking about..!!

A wildlife gardener said...

Hi, Sheila! He certainly did, didn't he? You are correct, the other flowers are foxgloves. Thanks for visiting.

RUTH said...

A great post in praise of the humble daisy. Much maligned by lawn keepers; I actually enjoy seeing daisys in the grass.

Thalia said...

A beautiful write-up, dear Wildlife gardener. I really loved your paintings and the flowers in your garden.

Gotta Garden said...

I've never made a daisy chain...I think I was deprived in my childhood...lol! Didn't know that about the name, Day's Eye...interesting to learn.

No grass! I'm liking that!

Luther Burbank is so right!

Sweet memory that your daisy blooms remind you of your son...I especially love gardens with memories.

Anonymous said...

Wow. You daisys are much farther along then ours. Mine are just about 7 inches tall now.

Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog.

Chris said...

Oh I do love your ox-eye daisies. They are on my shopping list!

A wildlife gardener said...

Welcome, fellow bloggers, to our little corner of paradise, and thanks for visiting!

Hi, Ruth! I love lawns with daisies on them too. As a child, I was always sad when it was time to cut the grass! I prefer flower meadows, much prettier by far!

Thank you, dear Thalia, for your compliments! You are very kind.

Yes it does have its advantages, having no grass, gotta garden...I save hours of hard labour! And from that one packet of seed my son sowed, the garden is peppered with daisies now!

Abe, hi there, lovely to see you again! Although I posted the photo of the ox-eye daisies, it is from last Summer. I am writing the story of how we created our garden for wildlife and not what I'm busy doing in it each day/week. My photo blog shows the progress of the garden as it looks each week. Our daisies are about three inches tall at the moment...so a few weeks yet till they are in bloom.

Hello, Chris, welcome! I do love the daisies and whenever they are in bloom I remember my teenage son scattering the seed and how they have transformed the garden.

Libbys Blog said...

Oh to have a wider garden so I could have sweeping flower beds of daisies!!! I do like my garden really!!!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Well put, I love Daisies to bits. What a pity you can't have them in your garden but it is wonderful to see the ox-eyed daisies! Reminds me of a lovely time I had in France some years ago.

A wildlife gardener said...

Hi, Libby! And I hope my morning glory seeds turn out as gorgeous as that photo of yours you posted today!

Welcome, yolanda elizabeth, and thanks for visiting. When we first came here, I sowed daisies, bellis Rob Roy, in a whole bed...they looked fantastic! Through time, that bed evolved into our bed of roses, which only lasted a few years due to windburn killing them off. Now it's our geranium bed which I wrote about a few posts ago. But our son's ox-eye daisies have lasted the pace and are still going strong. Sometimes I think I'd like to buy part of the field behind our house and sow a field of ox-eye daisies...and maybe some corn cockles, corn marigolds and poppies in it as well, for good measure! Then I'd make a gate in our stane-dyke wall and sit in the field with my watercolours and paint....sorry, I was day-dreaming again!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Love the daisies! I planted some 30 years ago and they are still gracing my garden.

A wildlife gardener said...

Hi, IGW, nice to see you. They are amazing flowers, aren't they? Thanks for visiting.

smilnsigh said...

Oh how lovely! I have a fried who loves daisies. I must point her to your entry here.


Nicole said...

What lovely photos and poetic blog. Sure uplifted me!

A wildlife gardener said...

Welcome again, smilnsigh, thanks for revisiting. I'm glad you like the daisies. They are friendly, like me...tell your friend she is welcome anytime too.

Hello, nicole! Thanks for your encouraging comments. Your blog is full of exquisite photography of such exotic plants. I recommend it to everyone who visits mine.

shirl said...

Hi, Wildlife Gardener,

Plants can hold so many memories but non more special than those connected to a moment with your own child. I’m sure you hold more than a smile when you look out on to your wonderful drift of daisies.

I love the foxgloves growing up through your daisy drift. What a canvas you have created for yourself. Your paintings capture so much of the charm and innocence of this simple flower. Thanks for sharing them.

A wildlife gardener said...

Welcome again, shirl, and thank you for revisiting. You are quite correct in that I never fail to look at the superabundance of the ox-eyes and think back to the day when the garden was bare, and our son scattered those seeds...Thank you for your very kind words too.

meggie said...

Your blog is rather like those flowers. "Sunshine food, & medicine for the soul"
Your flower pictures are just breathtaking to me!
And I love Foxgloves from childhood when an Uncle used to take me walking, & they grew wild in the paddocks on the farm in New Zealand.

A wildlife gardener said...

Hello, meggie, and thanks for introducing yourself. What a lovely compliment you have given me too! I love fozgloves too. they are on my Top Ten list of flowers to have in a garden. Thanks for visiting...come again.