Wednesday 21 February 2018

In bloom this week: dazzling daisy

The humble daisy can be used to create a bold garden statement

African daisy
African daisy

Leonie Cornelius

Many people consider the humble daisy a weed, but to me there is nothing more cheery than a big, bold mass of daisies. Whether growing wild in a field or planted in containers, this plant always reminds me of warm summer days.

This particular daisy, which is native to Africa, is more striking than the small white daisy that grows in our lawns. The stunning pink colour of the petals of this flower are offset beautifully by its centre, deep purple and speckled with striking yellow dots. Interestingly, the pretty yellow specks signify that this particular variety of African daisy (Osterpermum) is a hardier version and will do well here in our own, cooler gardens.

African daisies, or blue-eyed daisies as they are also sometimes known, like well-drained soil and will eventually like to be planted out into a sheltered border. The herbaceous perennials close their flowers in the evening and open when the sun comes out, meaning they will look and perform best in a sunny spot in the garden. They like to be deadheaded, and any old leaves should be removed when noticed. They will do particularly well with a monthly feed to the base.

I discovered this gorgeous pink variety recently in Homeland, Sligo ( and could not help but get a whole tray load to mass plant them into a lovely, oval container. Sometimes, I really enjoy making bold statements using only one flower and this tightly packed collection of one plant worked so well on my patio table.

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