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A Different Kind of Daisy

by CountryLife Gardening | Aug 10, 2015
Daisies have always played a starring role in Irish gardens

Be it in your lawn or grown as a plant in a flower border, daisies have always played a starring role in Irish gardens over the years. And while many people may not be the biggest fans of daisies in their lawns, I think as a flower they can add a great deal to a garden.

One particularly good daisy to consider planting this year is the Shasta Daisy. While its official name is Leucanthemum × superbum I have always just referred to them as Shasta Daisies. Growing up my mother used to grow these in our garden so I have a lot of memories of pottering around the garden and seeing them.

Shasta Daisies are a herbaceous perennial with flowers that are very similar to oxeye daisies but much larger in size. The plant can often be characterised by their strong distinct smell. The plant’s name originates from the horticulturist that first produced it and who named it after Mount Shasta in California. As the petals are said to resemble the snow that falls on the mountain’s peak.

Banana Cream offer gardeners something a bit differentAt the moment in CountryLife we have a selection of Shasta daisies on sale, some of which will offer gardeners something a bit different in terms of flowering types. One of the more different varieties we have at the moment is called Banana Cream.

Unlike the others this one has rich yellow flowers. The flowers are almost the exact same shade of yellow as the wild primroses you would see growing on roadside verges around the country. This variety produces flowers that can reach around 4-5 inches wide but compared to other varieties it is rather compact and does not spread out as much.

Laspider is another more unusual varietyLaspider is another more unusual variety. As you can see in the picture the flowers have an almost fringed appearance made up of loads of tiny narrow petals giving the flower a much fuller appearance. This variety looks more like a shrub when mature thanks to its dense branching and mass of flowers.

Lacrosse is a variety that some gardeners find the most interesting because of the shape of the petals. The petals are slightly spoon shaped. Many gardeners like this variety as it is just something different and tends to stand out a bit more.

As a plant Shasta Daisies require very little work and are only really targeted by slugs and snails which are easily dealt with. When the flowers turn brown and start to fade it is best to cut the plant right back and this will encourage fresh growth and in some cases repeat flowering.

Every three years you should dig up the clump and divide it into smaller plants that can be spread out around the garden. This will help to keep the plant vigorous and is a great way of increasing the number of plants you have cheaply.

When it comes to planting Shasta Daisies they like a rich free draining soil and can handle semi-shade. For the best impact it is better to plant them in large clumps within a flowerbed. If you have the room to you can repeat this in another part of the garden to create unity. Many varieties will also do extremely well in a large pot on a patio for a number of years. 

Written by Malachy

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Malachy's Bio 

I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!