Starting in the spring, all kinds of blooms invade my garden and the field around my house. It is amazing how so many of them have the same daisy-like shape! The field is cheerful when the wild chamomile, wild aster, helenium, and yellow chamomile are blooming, while in my garden gaillardias, rudbeckias, calendulas and zinnias are smiling for all summer.
I like daisies. I've always liked them. But up until this year I couldn't enjoy their beauty, unless I bought them from the market. Daisies are so lovely! I don't know why are they so ignored and usually considered wild flowers, not worthy of staying in line with the carnations, imperial lilies, gerbera, roses, or other florist flowers. I've never seen daisies at the florists in our country - only at the market - and that says it all!
The daisy's name comes from an Old English word "daegesege" which means "day's eye", referring to their blooming at dawn and closing at dusk. The real daisy is a Chrysanthemum species, also called Oxeye daisy - in Latin, Leucanthemum vulgare. Another daisy species is Pyrethrum or Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium which grows wild on the fields.
I've made my garden with the plants and seeds I picked up myself from different places I visited or by exchanging with other gardeners. I always wished I had white daisies growing together with the yellow-red gaillardia and the yellow black-eyed Susan, but I never had the opportunity to find seeds or plants for trade. I was lucky to have pyrethrum growing on the field around my house, as well as helenium and wild asters, so I brought a clump of each in my garden, to replace the real daisies I didn't have. For the same reason I even let the wild chamomile grow and bloom in my garden, but not for long because it grows too much and takes over. So I only enjoyed the blooms and then pulled it out.
Daisies and all daisy-like flowers are from the Asteraceae family - aster meaning star in Greek, after their flower's shape. Plants in this family are also commonly referred to as the aster, daisy or sunflower family. Asteraceae family is one of the largest family among the angiosperms (flowering plants). No wonder that so many flowers have the daisy-like shape! Since I like them so much, I managed to find seeds from many daisy-like flowers. From spring to fall, they're blooming and changing from one month to another, cheering my garden. In May the pot marigolds and gaillardias are starting to bloom for the summer, then the rudbeckias in June, and later, in July, the sunflowers and zinnias.
Starting September, asters are taking over, then the daisy-like mums in October.
April was the only month without daisy-like blooms, but this spring I had it covered because I had lots of real daisies blooming, to my delight. I never used to buy seeds from the store, but I started with the daisy seeds. I sowed the seeds in several spots of my garden last spring and they grew over last summer, then came back after the winter and started to bloom this spring. I still remember a tip from the seed package, "deadhead daisies, otherwise they will take over of your garden". I did that, but I missed a few which made me understand that warning : daisies are self-sown plants, very invasive, so now I have more little daisies popping out from those missed seeds. Lucky I have many friends who would love to have daisies in their gardens! I already have orders for a few clumps. These beautiful flowers will cheer up more gardens and more people, not only for their beauty, but also for the fun they can bring in people's life. According to some sources, daisies symbolize innocence and purity, and also new beginnings, "loyal love" or " I will never tell". Daisies are also the lovers' favorite plants for playing the "He loves me, he loves me not" game, by ripping off one petal after another from one daisy flower. According to where it stops - at "he loves me" or at "he loves me not"- he or she finds out whether their lover loves them truly - or not! Almost everytime, if the game stops at "he loves me not" , the lover takes another flower and starts again - I know that very well, I did that too! If you are at the beginning of a new love and are wondering whether your lover loves you or not, this is the way to find out. Just go and find some daisies, then start playing. You'll love it and it'll be such fun!