• Past memories and changing your mind

    by  • December 2, 2010 • Plant Profiles

    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.