Daisies, daisies everywhere

The daisies are all in bloom! And in such profusion too! If this were Bonn or Leamington Spa, this marvel could only happen from late spring to summer. But of course in the Mediterranean, autumn is veritably spring. It’s a curious thing however, that immediately surrounding the trunks of olives and pines, the daisies are nowhere to be seen. There is a very obvious demarcation line. Perhaps they don’t like competing with the roots of those trees. It remains to be seen how long the daisies will remain in bloom. Will the cold of winter affect them? I don’t recall seeing the daisies in the garden last spring.

Daisies & olives south gdn g_4943.JPG

There are a few things I learned about the daisy today. Its uses are not just for making daisy chains. The leaves, petals, and buds are all edible.  Raw leaves can be added to a salad, and raw petals and buds are apparently good additions to sandwiches, soup, and salad. I have yet to try eating them though. Daisies, pounded to express the juice, were once used to soak bandages for dressing soldiers’ cuts in ancient Rome. They were also used in traditional Austrian medicine as a tea for intestinal problems.

For those who like their lawns perfectly green and manicured, the daisy is considered a weed that is nearly impossible to eradicate. Mowing the plants do not deter it, as its very short rosette of leaves escapes the mower blades and the flowers then proceed to bloom with stems at ground level. I am rather perverse in my taste for flowers, and what others consider a weed, I consider a very pretty flower indeed, true to its botanical name Bellis perennis (bellis = pretty, perennis = everlasting). I would much rather have these daisies than boring grass. And that is precisely what the garden fairy has granted me. I am thoroughly pleased to have these lovely white and yellow flowers, called by Chaucer “the eye of the day” (thus “day’s eye”), gracing the garden by the thousands, and I hope they continue to increase.

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