Making daisy chains was probably my first interaction with plants as a child as they were the only flowers that I was allowed to pick. My scrawled drawings stuck on the kitchen wall were their abstract portraits.
|common daisies in my lawn|
If Diana is gracious enough to let me include daisies in the lawn for free, giving me the option to pick a more exotic variety, the choice would be endless : the daisy family Asteraceae is one of the largest flowering plant groups. I have grown its cousins asters, marigolds and sunflowers; they germinate easily (marigolds a bit too easily) and are trouble-free.
According to top ten lists, the gerbera daisy is one of the most popular cut flowers. I've peeped into bouquets in local flower shops and supermarkets carrying out my own survey. This spot-check confirmed that gerbera is indeed a florists' favourite. I don't have it in my garden currently - but would I if I was starting all over again ?
|gerbera in my local flower shop|
A single gerbera stem actually holds an inflorescence consisting of three types of florets with five petals each , effectively transitioning from male at the centre through to female at the edge of the ruffle. The central disc florets have insignificant petals, the outer ray florets have a single enlarged petal which altogether give the impression that they were formed to reflect the sun's image.
|osteospermum in my garden - opens when the sun shines|
Trouble-free plants are difficult to blog about. In this case, I can't recount my problems with propogation and then finally post a photo of its precious offspring or demonstrate how I saved it from pests. This plant has been disease-free so far; something I don't take for granted any more. It's easily multiplied by pulling off the spreading side shoots and inserting them in an empty space in a flower bed, equally comfortable exposed to full sunshine or dappled shade; evergreen, flowering from spring through to autumn.
Its my first choice to break the line of an edge of a wall, foliage draping over and flowers reaching up, casting daisy shadows on the bricks, or to round-off the corner of a square patio slab. The flowers are closer to the foliage compared to gerbera, the stems more in proportion for garden viewing. It's proved itself and I want nothing more from it so I wouldn't swap it. However, if I'm forced to choose between african daisies and common daisies in the lawn that would be a more difficult decision (hopefully I wont have to).
Today I'm linking up to Elephant's Eye in South Africa : Dozen for Diana
She also selected african daisy osteospermum in her first dozen.
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