Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Flowers: La Marguerite

Ox-eye Daisy

The desktop of my computer at work currently features a picture of Shasta daisies from my garden. My co-worker Margaret, a multilingual physiotherapist from Holland, asked me what the name of the flower was in English. She told me that this was her name flower, and true enough, the word daisy is Marguerite in French and Margarita in Spanish. That is how the name Daisy became a nickname for Margaret.

There is no summer flower more cheerful than the daisy. William Wordsworth described it as "Thou unassuming commonplace of nature".

Our wild daisies are non-native species that multiply quickly by seed and spreading roots. The Ox-eye daisy is the wild European species known as the Marguerite. A few years ago I pulled one Ox-eye daisy from a field by the root and stuck it unceremoniously in my garden. The next spring I had at least a dozen plants and finally had to remove them all before they took over the garden.

Shasta Daisies in my garden

I have Shasta daisies in my garden as well. These hybrid perennial flowers have spread very slowly in comparison to the wild flowers. They need watering and enriched soil to produce the best blooms. Mine have done poorly this year in our dry summer weather.

Daisy Fleabane

The Daisy fleabane is a native plant that is blooming now even in poor, dry soil. In fact, it blooms from May to October in big bright patches.

My friends and I used to play "he loves me, he loves me not" with daisy flowers in the days of childhood and teenage infatuations. The French started this little game but with a few more options. Here is how it goes...

Il / elle m'aime un peu, (he/she loves me a little)

beaucoup, ( loves me a lot)

passionnément, ( loves me passionately)

à la folie, ( loves me madly)

pas du tout ( loves me not at all)

If you really need to know, go pick yourself a bouquet Marguerites and play until you come up with the answer that you want.

8 comments:

  1. Ah but first I need to decide which is the answer that I seek and that, I fear, is the hardest task

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  2. I love that they are so very hearty in a bouquet. "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do...." :c)

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  3. I don't think there is a flower more cheerful!

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  4. And what little girl growing up in the country hasn't made a daisy chain for her hair? Love them too.

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  5. Mouse- Eloquently said...!

    Jayne- Daisy is an old fashioned name that is once again popular. Thanks for reminding me about that song.

    Lynne- I agree. And it's the only one I can draw.

    LauraO- I never made a daisy chain, but liked to pick them for a bouquet. They do keep well in water.

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  6. Lovely post, Ruth. I love daisies. When I was a child, we had a beagle named Daisy and we'd pluck tufts of her hair while repeating, "Love me, love me not..."

    She loved it :o)

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  7. Mary- Poor Daisy! Did you stop when she yelped? I am glad you used the English version of the game.

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  8. I can smell their crushed essence on my fingertips. I love Daisies - and don't need to pluck them to find out whether I love them or love them not:0)

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