Tuesday, May 30, 2006
My favorite daisy
As a child it was my role to play the family tomboy. I loved getting dirty, climbing trees and riding bikes. I wouldn't be caught dead in a dress. I thought makeup was stupid and babies were annoying. It was cool to hang with my older brother and I enjoyed catching frogs. I remember telling my best friend that I thought flowers were stinky. What a lost child I was! :)
Today my favoritest hobby in the whole world is gardening and I love flowers. After I had been married for several years I realized that I needed a hobby. My interest in gardening didn't come until after we had built our first home. That first summer after moving in we started planting. We planted all kinds of stuff. A lot of it died but some of it didn't. I planted shrubs, trees, perennials and annuals. The plants that died were replaced with something else. I just kept planting stuff. The next spring I had to move some of the perennials around because they were too tall for here or there or too short. It was just a kind of trial and error system.
However, the great thing is that I loved it. Being outside has always been in my blood and working in the yard my personal therapy. Then a miraculous thing happened. I started recieving compliments, "your flower beds are perfect", "the best yard in the neighborhood". Wow, what a self-esteem booster. I would just tell them that I didn't really know what I was doing (because I didn't) but that I loved it. I learned a lot those first couple of years and I am still learning. In fact I keep telling my neighbor that her gardenias look great, when in fact, they are geraniums. "Oh sorry", I say "I knew it started with a 'G' ". Duh!
I've done some research on daisies because that is my favorite flower. It is so beautiful but casual and I love things that are casual. This is what I've found:
There are over 20,000 different species of the family Asteraceae, which is sometimes referred to as the family of daisies. Daisies are a star-like flower. Some members of Asteraceae, such as many lettuces and sunflowers, are not thought of as daisies, but they share many of the same characteristics.
Daisies include not only the blooms most people are familiar with, but also popular health herbs such as Echinacea and arnica, and many edible plants such as artichokes and endive.
The true daisy--that with which the name originated--is the English daisy, Bellis perennis. The word "daisy" is a contraction of the phrase "Day's Eye," and references the fact that English daisies close at night and open their petals again at daylight. English daisies have white, off-white, or sometimes slightly pink petals and a yellow center, with green stems and leaves.
Oh, did you know... Chrysanthemums are daisies too!. Many Chrysanthemums appear very similar to the English daisy, with white petals and a yellow center. Others come in decorative colors, ranging from vibrant pinks and blues to deep purples and reds.
My 3 most favorite daisies are:
1. SHASTA DAISIES
2. BLACK-EYED SUSAN
3. PAINTED DAISIES
The greatest thing about SHASTA DAISIES is that they come in all sizes and shapes. Here are 12 of the most common.
1. ‘Crazy Daisy’ 24 to 28 inches tall; 2- to 4-inch double flower; simple or quilled creamy petals.
2. ‘Chiffon’ 48 inches tall; 2- to 3-inch double flower; frilly “cut” creamy petals; long blooming.
3. ‘Aglaia’ 28 inches tall; very sturdy stem; 3- to 4-inch double flower; frilly white petals.
4. ‘Little Miss Muffet’ 12 inches tall; 2- to 3-inch semidouble flower; pure-white petals.
5. ‘Summer Snowball’ 28 inches tall; 2- to 3-inch fully double flower; creamy-white petals.
6. ‘Silver Prince’ 36 inches tall; very sturdy stem; 3- to 4-inch single flower; pure-white petals.
7. ‘Alaska’ up to 36 inches tall; 4- inch single flower; pure-white petals.
8. ‘Becky’ 24 to 36 inches tall; 3- to 4-inch single flower; white petals; late and long flowering; very heat-tolerant.
9. ‘Chuck’s Delight’ 36 inches tall; 4-inch fully double flower; frilly pure-white petals.
10. ‘Esther Read’ 15 inches tall; 3-inch double flower; pure-white petals; early, long-blooming flowers.
11. ‘Marconi’ 36 inches tall; 2- to 5-inch double flower; pure-white petals.
12. ‘Brent’s Choice’ 36 inches tall; 4- to 5-inch single flower; pure-white fringed petals.