• Past memories and changing your mind

    by  • December 2, 2010 • Plant Profiles • 4 Comments

    Shasta Daisies and Ox-eye daisies

    The memories of the tall Shasta daisies in my grandmother’s and mother’s gardens created in me, a desire to grow some of my own.  My mother would cut some and put them in a vase of colored water.  Slowly the dye would creep up the hollow stems. Fun for us kids!  Then, with a garden of my own, I saw a tall variety, ‘Alaska’, probably, at a specialty nursery in Westminster and decided that would be the kind I’d grow.

    I never had much luck with them when I live in the suburbs, funnily enough, where they’d be perfect for the cottagey garden. Now, in a colder climate, they do very well although they do seem to need a lot of water, or else they sulk.

    2009-6 July Garden Shasta daisies at their best

    2009-6 July Garden Shasta daisies at their best

    They also get little bugs that eat the centers away. They bloom reliably in July and if we’re home, they put on a nice show for about two weeks tops, soon after wilting and bowing down descending into scraggleyness.

    2010-7 July Garden Shasta daisies, two weeks looking good, bu t that's it!

    2010-7 July Garden Shasta daisies, two weeks looking good, bu t that’s it!

    I have had to deadhead them twice, once right after bloom and then again all the way to the new growth in late Fall.  They d multiply readily and are pretty easy to pull out, but now I change my mind…

     

    Today as I sit in the damp, cutting, cutting, I have decided that they do not belong here in the Sierras anymore, no matter how sweet my memories of daises in the family gardens. They’ve crowded out my Black-eyed Susans, (which crowded out the Western wildflower mix). They’ve pushed around the Verbena bonarensis, too, and infringed on the helicrysum.  Slowly I will pull them out, refuse them water, strict and mean I am, I guess.

    2010-6 Garden in June Shasta Daisies, beyond the water supply, will have to survive on their own

    2010-6 Garden in June Shasta Daisies, beyond the water supply, will have to survive on their own

    Although they’re not native, I much prefer the little Ox-eye daisies with foliage that hugs the ground and tall stems with small quarter-sized flowers. They grow like wildflowers, popping up here and there, well behaved, only needing one chop and looking meadowy as they wave in the wind.

    2014-5 May Garden  Ox-eye daisies among the native wildflowers

    2014-5 May Garden Ox-eye daisies among the native wildflowers

    Aside to whomever–  Darn, stickers in the seat of my jeans.

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.

    4 Responses to Past memories and changing your mind

    1. December 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm

      I’m usually bad at making that kind of tough decision in the garden — kudos to you for growing the garden you want instead of just the one you have.

    2. December 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm

      It’s never to extirpate those things from your garden that you grow out of nostalgia. I had the same problem with Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii), which attracted a host of butterflies, hummingbirds, and even goldfinches, but grew to an ungainly size (blocking the view from our main entry) and started reseeding everywhere like there was no tomorrow. So, sadly but necessarily, I cut it down last weekend. I actually feel relieved because I now have an unobstructed view out of the kitchen window.

    3. December 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm

      Well, we all know a garden is never finished. Part of the fun is taking something out, replacing it with something else — only to find another plant now starts to behave like a bully. What fun!

      • December 3, 2010 at 8:21 am

        Thanks, Eliza, Arleen and TMouse for your comments! Even as this post was written, I was having second thoughts..hahaha. But, also, after seeing a photo where my area filled with Shastas, was, before, similarly filled solidly with Rudbeckias, (which by the way are just as dominant), I see that I should pull out all the daisies I can. There may still be some that escape to satosfy my nostalgia.

        I find it so interesting how a plant like buddleia can reseed and actually be invasive in one area and not another. Buddleias don’t reseed here, but what conditions do they need to do so? I have seen them grow wild along the freeways in Seattle where there is so much rain and snow, hoever they do well here with little water. Interesting.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *