Green grass and daisies

After the frost and frozen leaves we are having days like summertime. In the back garden the grass is spring green and covered with daisies.

From the upstairs window you can see the grass covered with daisies.

When I see daisies I have an instinctive desire to make daisy chains. I asked two of my neighbours, separately, if they used to make daisy chains when they were children. The answer was negative and I have now initiated them into the art of making daisy chains. Is it a lost art or is it a “British” thing?

The odd butterfly takes advantage of the daisies but there is too much temptation from the blossom and other flowers for the bees to bother with them just now.

The main bee action is in the front garden on the Cerinthe, it is quite noisy with the bumble bees, Anthophora and Amegilla. It self seeds and is quite tough. Some of the seeds germinate in the autumn and survive the winter to bloom early in the spring here. For places with a cold winter you could sow in early spring, it is a magnet for bumble bees.

I have some bright yellow primulas beside the Cerinthe which adds a flash to the purple Cerinthe but they are largely ignored by the fickle bumble bees while there is Cerinthe available.

This is our ornamental apple tree which survived our frost quite well. Others of the frost bitten trees are recovering their leaves but there will be less of the early fruits this year.

Our lemon tree is outside once more as we had to put it back in our front bedroom to shelter it from the cold snap. As we lifted the pot to take it inside we had a good look in case the little tree frog was still hiding in it. We laughed a bit about the idea, but it is a bit of a walk round to the other side of the house so I did not think there was really a chance he would be in the pot. Nearly two weeks later we opened the front window and he was sitting on the trunk of the lemon tree. We felt really bad. We put the tree and the frog back in the usual place but we have not seen the frog since. I think he is sulking.

I have planted a pot of mixed Allium for the patio this year and they have just shot through. In the morning I noticed that the tips had exuded a ball of sap that twinkled in the light. There is always something new in the garden.

On the back wall of the front garden we planted an Akebia “Silver Bells” in November 2020. The flowers look very impressive in my close-up photograph but I am a little underwhelmed by it at the moment. Perhaps as it grows bigger and has more flowers I will change my mind.

At the same time we planted a Ribes odoratum nearby and I am more optimistic that it will be a success, although it has a bit of growing to do.

Bee swarm

In the meantime the bees are keeping us busy.

To a daisy

We have had much more rain this winter than usual, even the water table level that has been getting dangerously low for some years has returned to normal.  This is all good stuff for gardeners and I look forward to seeing many more wild flowers this year.  What has surprised me is the crop of daisies that has appeared in the grass around the house.  I had not noticed their absence until they appeared in quantity this year.  In the wet west of Scotland there is no shortage of daisies in the grass and making daisy chains was a summer pastime.  I hated the lawnmowers that put an end to them and created a boring green plain.  I was difficult to console and had little sympathy with the adults who assured me the daisies would soon reappear.

I have my own daisies now and I have enjoyed photographing them and capturing the variety of shapes and colours as they unfold.  Some   begin with deep raspberry-tinted petals and some are round like miniature peonys.  Some unfold coquettishly, others  frankly becoming completely white, while others retain a pink rim to the petals.

But the fateful day was sure to come.  I was informed that if the grass was not cut the machine would not be able to cope.  I begged a stay of execution for a patch with speedwell and dandelions near the plum tree and my mining bee nests.  The rest of the grass is now more or less green.

At least I have my photographs.

And I am comforted that Rabbie Burns, Scotland’s national poet felt pretty bad about seeing the daisies cut down too. His poem is to a Mountain Daisy but I’m sure its like my daisies.

To A Mountain Daisy (Written in 1786)

Wee, modest crimson-tipped flow’r,
Thou’s met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem:
To spare thee now is past my pow’r,
Thou bonie gem.

To read more or to listen to it being read, http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/robertburns/works/to_a_mountain_daisy/

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