Delightful Daisies

By Susan Littlefield

Many of the plants we use as annuals in our summer gardens are not botanically true annuals. Instead they are tender perennials, plants that in warm enough climates would return year after year. Fortunately, many of these put on a great show in the space of one growing season, so those of us who garden in areas of the country with winter temperatures too low to overwinter them outdoors can still enjoy the colorful flowers and foliage they provide.

One such tender perennial grown as an annual is the marguerite daisy. Originally grown mainly for the cut flower market in the early part of this century, renewed interest and breeding work have now made this a great choice for the flower garden and container plantings. Most of the plants offered now are hybrids of the tongue-twistingly named Argyranthemum frutescens, propagated from cuttings.

New this year from Ecke Ranch is 'Flutterby™ Yellow'. Growing 10-12 inches tall, with an attractive, upright, mounding habit, it is covered from late spring to frost with large (2 1/2 to 3 inch) daisies. It tolerates cool weather and continues to form new flowers through the heat of summer. It does well in full to part sun, with regular watering. And true to its name, butterflies are attracted to its colorful blooms.

The soft yellow color of the flowers mixes easily with many other hues in the garden. Try combining this daisy with the deep violet-blue of mealycup sage for a vivid contrast or make a monochromatic picture by combining it with pale yellow calibrachoa or petunias.

For more information on 'Flutterby™ Yellow' marguerite daisy, go to: National Garden Bureau.

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