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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Entries in Shasta Daisy (1)


Make Room for Daisy, an Old Fashioned Perennial


What’s a garden designer to do if his wife asks him to plant Daisies? I have never found an appropriate place for them in the city garden and I am reluctant to plant them for clients that have larger gardens because of the expansive sprawl that this flower creates.

I tried to avoid the issue of Daisies for many years; I had a plethora excuses. But here I was at a big box garden center at the end of last summer and all of the seedling-sized perennials were reduced to sell at fifty cents each. There was very little in the sale assortment that I wanted but I spotted a gigantic Daisy, Chrysanthemum maximum Shasta, burgeoning out of its seedling-sized planter. At that price, I could be a sport and buy it for my wife!

I planted it in my experimental garden, the place in my back yard where I test-grow new perennials to see how they will perform. From August, when I first planted it, until the first frost, it produced no flowers and grew very little. But according to its size and sprawl this spring, there had to have been a party going on at root level last summer because the Daisy is blooming floriferous this week with an expansive sprawl in every direction.

To balance out this explosion of white and yellow, I have planted blue Nepata subbsessilis flanked on the right and pink Selena on the left. This composition in blue, pink, white and yellow tempers the scraggliness of the Daisies and creates a rather pleasant color composition. But I still can’t plant them for my clients. They would never forgive me for the messiness that this perennial creates.