Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Story About Daisies and Saving Seeds

If you have been by the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden this Spring, you will notice that we have a lot of daisies. A lot. Several of people even stopped by to ask if we were selling them. No, but you can take a couple for free. How did we come to have so many daisies this year? Funny you should ask.

Let me take you back to1998, the year I bought my house. There was a legal secretary who lived behind me (where Beth & Mike live now with Louis, Lucy and Peter). She had a little dog and lots of daisies in her back yard. When I told her that I was interested in gardening, she came over with some dead daisies and just crushed the flower over my flower bed. There, she said, you will have daisies there next year. She was right; I had a lot of daisies. You see, the seeds are in the yellow center. I returned the favor when Beth & Mike moved into her house.

When the petals die back, all you have to do is to make sure that the center of the dead flower hits the ground or to crush it between your fingers to spread the seeds over where you want them the next year. The problem is that they can form foliage pretty quickly (which will overwinter in your garden) and that will prevent later season flowers (like cosmos) from growing. (It also runs the risk of dying in a drought). So, I usually prune the dead flowers, put the daisy centers into brown paper bags, label them and then spread them in the Fall (like November after all of the other flowers have died back) or in February (before other flowers start growing and while I can just see the outlines of the mounds of other perennials).

I apparently went a little crazy with daisies last Fall or in February because they were not just growing in our front flower bed, but also in most of my plot. (Even the most gentle breeze can carry their light seeds). No matter, Rayna dug them up from my plot and transplanted them into our middle flower bed during our opening work day. Although I thought they were dying, they bloomed just fine.

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