leonie cornelius

LEONIE CORNELIUS & FRIENDS
african-daisy-leonie-cornelius-irish-independent
african-daisy-leonie-cornelius-irish-independent
african-daisy-leonie-cornelius-irish-independent

He loves me, He loves me not

Many people consider the humble daisy a weed but to me there is nothing more cheery than a big, bold mass of daisies. Whether growing wild in a field or planted cheekily self seeding itself in containers this plant always reminds me of warm summer days looking up into a blue sky making daisy chains.

Daisies have long been associated with purity, innocence and love and this particular daisy, which is native to Africa, is admittedly more striking than the small white daisy that grows in our lawns.

The stunning pink colour of the petals of this flower are offset beautifully by its centre, deep purple and speckled with striking yellow dots. Interestingly, the pretty yellow specks signify that this particular variety of African daisy, or Osterpermum in its Latin term, is a hardier version and will do well here in our own, cooler gardens.

African daisies, or blue eyed daisies as they are also sometimes known, like well drained soil and will eventually like to be planted out into a sheltered border. The herbaceous perennials close their flowers in the evening and open when the sun comes out meaning they will look and perform best in a sunny spot in the garden. They like to be deadheaded and any old leaves should be removed when noticed. They will do particularly well with a monthly feed to the base.

I discovered this gorgeous pink variety recently in Homeland, Sligo and could not help but get a whole tray load to mass plant them into a lovely, oval container. Sometimes I really enjoy making bold statements using only one flower and this tightly packed collection of one plant worked so well on my custom light timber and copper patio table, creating a striking centre-piece statement.

Speaking of statements, an interesting fact about the daisy brings us back to the 1600‘s. In Victorian times expressing emotion or passion for a suitor was wholly unacceptable. A certain Lady Mary Wortley created a standardized language of flowers, also known as floriography, which became an almost covert language amongst lovers. In this language the daisy was said to signify ‘I love you too’.

Shot on Location at Shells Surface, Sligo

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Photo By: Colin Gillen

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