Delightful Daisies

    • Petunias can’t be beat for large, colorful blooms all summer long. The “Wave” petunias make wonderful hanging baskets for full sun. They come in purple, bright pink, and pale “misty lilac.”
    • Ivy geraniums make wonderful hanging baskets for partially shaded spots where they will bloom all summer.
    • Cage or stake tomatoes while still small so that you can train them as they grow.
    • Cover cherry trees with bird netting to protect your crop.
    • Ladybugs are a big help with aphids in your greenhouse or garden. Release at dusk in problem areas.

Delightful Daisies

Ask any 4-year-old to draw a flower, and chances are she’ll draw a daisy. Daisies have an innocence and simplicity that are attractive to young and old alike.

Daisies belong to the family called Composites. They are one of the largest families of flowering plants with some 25,000 species distributed all over the world. The family includes lettuces, artichokes and sunflowers as well as chrysanthemums, dahlias and many other popular garden flowers.

Most daisies are very easy to grow. They flourish in ordinary garden soil that is well-drained in winter, with plenty of sun. There are daisies for almost any garden setting, and they deliver an abundance of summer color.

Start with Shasta daisies, a hybrid created by Luther Burbank. This is one tough plant, growing happily on rugged hillsides where even the deer don’t bother them. Their beautiful white flowers are 3-inches across and grow on stems varying from 1 foot to 3 feet depending on variety. The wild ‘Crazy Daisy’ has shaggy, double white flowers that may be frilled or twisted with bright yellow centers.

The Gerbera or Transvaal Daisy is a real show-off in the garden. The large flowers come in every bright color and they bloom all summer long in sun or part shade. They don’t always winter-over in our climate, but they but on a glorious show all summer.

Old-fashioned painted daisies come in shades of pink and red. Their simple flowers grow on tall, straight stems. Give them afternoon shade in our climate.

Marguerite daisies are too tender to winter over here, but golden Euryops makes a fine substitute. Yellow flowers cover these dark green bushes all summer, and they’ll come right back next year and do it all over again.

Coreopsis is an easy-to-grow perennial. From the tall ‘Early Sunrise’, to medium-sized ‘Baby Sun’ and low-growing auriculata ‘Nana’, these golden beauties are constantly in bloom all summer long. ‘Moonbeam’ coreopsis has lemon yellow flowers and threadlike leaves, and it makes a good companion for ornamental grasses.

Dahlias are tuberous rooted perennials that come in all colors except true blue, and a large variety of flower types and sizes from 2 to 12 inches across. Tubers should be planted right away for summer blooms.

Sunflowers are always a garden favorite. Both the dwarf ‘Sunspot’ and the 10-foot tall ‘Mammoth’ produce edible sunflower seeds. People eat the roasted seeds; birds enjoy the raw ones. Sunflowers for cutting come on compact, branching plants and bear 4 to 8 inch blooms in a rich variety of colors.

Use daisies to fill up spaces quickly and create an ‘established garden’ look while slower perennials fill in, and to brighten corners with their cheery flowers. It’s nice to have plants you can depend on.

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