I can’t quite recall the exact moment my affair with daisies began. It could have been at primary school where I began making daisy-chain bracelets, or it could have been when I used to help Nana pick flowers for posies. Maybe it was when I started working as an apprentice at Bayliss Nurseries in the mid 1980s. It doesn’t really matter, what I do know is that it will be a lif e sentence, and that’s not a bad thing.
I am rather nostalgic about these generous and giving blooms. These flowers just make me happy from the inside out. In my garden, I have daisies in bloom all year round, even over winter. A few bright blue flowers of the Kingfisher daisy, Felicia amelloides, sprinkle themselves over the domes of green, along with the bright sunny-yellow petals of Euryops pectinatus. Now summer is here it is all about the Marguerite daisy, Argyranthemum sp. and African daisies, Osteospermum sp. As soon as the temperatures warm up, the flowers buds are triggered into action and the plants will not be without blooms until the end of May, and in some cases, the end of June.
Yes I have a daisy addiction, and I have no intention of trying to curb it. Each season when new ones arrive in the shops, I swoop on a few and extend my collection. As my garden is quite full, the new additions end up in pots and tubs, which work well as I use them to punctuate and decorate the patio and outdoor areas, and then when the weather turns I can move them to somewhere closer to the house, which is more sheltered in winter. This in turn, gives them a head start in the spring when they bounce back into life quicker than the ones in the garden, which get no special care.
Not all are hardy, so if you are in an area where frost carpets your garden in winter, plant them in pots or closer to the house.
As a cut flower, they last a good week in fresh water. Remove any foliage that will be below the water line and try not to squash too many into a vase at once. Pick them once the flower is fully open, as the buds do not tend to open once picked.