Daisy Daisy – Week 2

Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do.
I’m half crazy all for the love of you.

Daisies

Daisies (Photography by Michael Lant - click on image to enlarge)

When someone mentions Daisy, I immediately think of a flower with long slender white petals radiating from a yellow centre. It conjures up memories of verifying the love of my grade 5 sweetheart by reciting “he loves me – he loves me not” as I tugged off each petal. I am also reminded of the daisy posies decorating childhood pretend tea parties in the hay fort custom built by my sisters and me, and the daisy chains that bejewelled the neck of my white horse Caprice.

In the beginning I thought a daisy was a daisy. And then I discovered there are over 25 varieties! I also discovered that daisies are related to the Aster (Asteraceae) and Chrysanthemum (Mums). In England the traditional white daisy which comes from the Bellis Perennis family is appropriately called the Common Daisy and is apparently the source from which all varieties of daisies originate. A few of the best known daisies in North America are the Shasta Daisy and Marguerite Daisy, found in many perennial flower beds, the Ox-Eye Daisy and the Prairie Daisy seen growing wild along roadsides and highways, the Gerbera Daisy a more recent, domesticated addition to the group, and the Daisy-Type Chrysanthemum available year round at florists and grocery markets.

The origin of the word Daisy is Anglo Saxon “daes eage” literally meaning “day’s eye” because daisies open at dawn as the day begins. The floral meaning is new beginnings and loyal love. In the Middle Ages the daisy was very popular as a symbol of betrothal or marriage. If a maiden responded to a knight`s proposal of hand and heart with a wreath made of daisies, it meant she would think about it. If she agreed to marry him, he could add the daisy to his family seal.

This cheerful flower symbolizes innocence and purity and there have been many stories written over the ages that depict the daisy with those characteristics. Here is one of my favourites:

One day the sun, gazing upon the flowers in the field, noticed a small daisy sheltering modestly in the shade of its luxuriant brothers. The sun was very surprised that it had never seen this pretty flower. The other flowers were always clamoring for bright colors, broad leaves, big flowers, but the daisy never asked the sun for a thing. Resolved to reward the diminutive plant for its humility, the sun asked: “Are you satisfied with your life? Is there anything I can do for you?” “No, thank you. I am quite satisfied,” answered the daisy. “But I love children very much, and I like to play with them. Help me give them joy all year.” So the sun touched the flower’s corolla with one of its rays. On that very spot appeared a small, yellow speck, and the daisy’s petals opened in all directions. From that time forward, you could see daisies any time of the year. Source: http://www.flofan.com/daisy-plant.html

Daisy Flower Arrangement Recipe and Instructions:

Ah, the daisy. So unassuming, so simple, so childlike. In honour of the purity of this flower and my hay fort memory, here is a recipe for making a rather sophisticated, yet still simple arrangement using chrysanthemum-type-daisies that are inexpensive and readily found at your favourite florist, neighbourhood grocery market or local pasture.

Ingredients

  • Daisies – about 10 stems, with 5 – 8 blooms per stem (you will probably not use all the blooms)
  • Hosta or Aspidistra leaf (optional ingredient) 1 – 2 leaves
  • 6“x 2“ rectangular glass vase
  • Clear narrow florist tape or scotch tape
  • Plant food

Instructions

  1. Optional step: Wrap the hosta or aspidistra leaf around the inside of the vase to hide the stems from view.
  2. With the tape, create a 2 x 6 grid cells using clear florist tape
  3. Fill the vase half way and add some flower food
  4. Cut daisies to slightly longer that the internal height of the vase, so the heads peek over the edge of the vase
  5. Group together 3 blooms and pop into a corner cell. Continue along one side, then repeat on the other side.
  6. Fill the centre cells with a single bloom in each one, carefully wedging into the other blooms for a compact, organized look

Postamble: Wow! What a fabulous response to my first blog – The Peony! Thank you to everyone who commented both publicly on my blog and privately via the old fashioned email technique. I very much appreciate the feedback. It is my greatest pleasure to know that I have brought a little joy into someone`s day.

Also, this week I was supposed to present the Sweet Pea. However, due to the unusually warm weather we are having in Ontario, the sweet pea season started and ended early and I missed out on getting a supply of these lovely flowers to make the arrangement that goes with the blog. So, you will have to wait until early summer 2011 to read all about my experience and insights about this fragrant country flower.

Quote of the week

You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way. Walter Hagen

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8 Comments

  1. Posted July 16, 2010 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    These are Logan’s favourite flowers. She can call them out from a mile away. She loves to pick them and pull on the petals to see if her daddy is going to marry her or not. I have enjoyed reading your posts and getting a glimpse into what you all got up to ‘back in the day’, and I am inspired by the arrangements. I am hoping to have a garden someday, but I have change my black thumb into a green one before that happens. I’m looking forward to the lily post-those are my favourite blooms :)

    • Liz Lant
      Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      I can picture Miss Logan with a handful of daisies.,,

  2. Posted July 9, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I loved your blog this week! Perfect timing! I was looking for a simple yet elegant arrangement for a cocktail party on the boat Sat night for Steven’s work and this is something I can definitely do and with Ella! We are looking forward to it, thanks!!
    Rachel

    • Liz Lant
      Posted July 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Summer, boats and a dinner party – what a winning combination for a weekend get together! Hope you and Ella had great fun creating your daisy arrangement.

  3. Ann Corrigan
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful way to start the day…reading about my favorite flowers….having said that, I’m trying to think of a flower I don’t love…Peonies are also favs…as are Sweet Peas…you’re right, they were not great this year….I can’t wait for the next “blooming” story.

    cheerio,

    ann

    • Liz Lant
      Posted July 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Ann, you were top of mind as I was writing about the daisy because I know how much you love this flower…

  4. Kelly
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Liz,

    Your blog has me wowed!!! The way you write has me hooked and although I never really thought I would care to read much about flowers (I am more of a foodie), you have me as a loyal reader. The daisy is my very favourite flower so I was particularly taken with this one.

    Can’t wait to read more and hope to try out one or more of your creations myself, soon!!

    • Liz Lant
      Posted July 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much for this wonderful feedback Kelly! I have an idea for combining flowers and fruit and/or veggies, so stay tuned for that arrangement in an upcoming post.