The Federation Daisies (marguerites) we love
are getting better than ever
Everyone loves Federation Daisies. They have a simple beauty which makes them favourites with young and old. Pick a bunch of mixed daisy flowers and pop them into a simple jug or vase and you'll have a table arrangement that is likely to be more of a talking point with guests than some expensive cut flowers from the best florist.
Federation Daisies are very easy to grow – pop them into virtually any well drained soil in a sunny spot and they take off. They are uncomplicated plants, no tricks to their culture. They will grow quickly in all sorts of places, the only limiting factor being heavy frosts. Many a coastal gardener has turned a sunny, sandy bank into a flower filled delight by planting it with Federation Daisies. A little light pruning of flower heads with a bit of stem attached makes the flowering performance even better and encourages the plants to be bushier and stronger growing.
In new gardens, as they are quick growing Federation Daisies are great to fill in gaps between establishing shrubs making a remarkable hedge. In well established gardens Federation Daisies are superb for mingling in with perennials, roses and annuals, or filling in a space left by spring bulbs.
There is a wide range of colours among the Federation Daisies so if you want to create interesting colour schemes these plants offer many opportunities. White daisies planted among dark coloured penstemon such as 'Grape Taffey' or 'Boysenberry Taffey' and white 'Flower Carpet Roses' is one idea to contemplate, another is yellow daisies with purple 'Stoechas' lavenders, scabiosa 'Vivid Violet' and 'Crimson Clouds' or nepeta 'Blue Beauty'.
Pink daisies interspersed with mauve nemesias like 'Blueberry Ripple' and 'Lilac Berry' beside a driveway is effective, as is daisies planted amongst groundcover 'Stachys Silver Carpet' (lambs ears) or low growing purple 'Campanula Resholdt's Variety'.
In coastal gardens, mingling Federation Daisies with agapanthus and colourful daisy flowered groundcovers such as arctotis, osteospermums and gazanias will give striking results. For foliage interest also include in your planting sedums such as 'Golden Planet', 'Desert Red' and 'Autumn Joy', or cordyline 'Red Fountain'.
Federation Daisies are fantastic in pots too, whether planted on their own or together with other perennials to brighten decks, courtyards and entranceways. By keeping them well watered, trimming off the spent flowers and occasionally feeding with a liquid fertiliser you will find the flowering performance is spectacular.
Remember, Federation Daisies:
- Provide instant appeal in gardens, borders and patio containers
- Have a long flowering period providing great colour in the garden or pots
- Are extremely adaptable, working well with a wide range of garden styles
- Provide plenty of choice for easy care gardens
- Fit well into Mediterranean themed gardens
- Look superb in patio pots or planters
- Work well in cottage gardens
- Are great for picking
- Make a wonderfully bold display when used en masse
- Are very effective as a low growing hedge alongside a garden path or border
- The taller varieties make an effective low screen or border
- When planting in a pot be sure to use a premium potting mix and water retaining or rewetting agents. Apply a liquid fertiliser or slow release fertiliser every few months. Never let a daisy in a pot dry to the point of wilting – to do so is a sure fire recipe for disappointment.
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