Meadow Blooms 3 – daisy

English Daisy meadow WSO
photo by SVSeekins

My breath caught when I turned the corner along a wooded trail revealing this spring meadow.  Doesn’t it evoke images of butterflies & unicorns?

In my quest to ID this tiny smiling flower, I sent these photos to Saanich Parks’ horticultural supervisor, Kelly Mulhern.  She quickly confirmed my suspicions: English Daisy.

Kelly says it originated in Europe but has naturalized all over the world.    Although many folks enjoy it, “lawn purists” don’t.

The Cedar Hill Golf Course is home to this particular meadow.  Their white drift of spring bloom laughs in the face of the perfect golf green.

English Daisy meadow CU
photo by SVSeekins

I reckon it might be a new version of a sand trap.    The plant grows in a low rosette shape, almost making a cup; perfectly suited for catching & cuddling a golf ball.  And wouldn’t it be a bugger to find a white ball in this sea of white daisies?

The Royal Horticultural Society supports this daisy’s usefulness for planting in a wildflower meadow.  I’m with them (surprise surprise).

But the debate rages.  🙂

C says he prefers the even texture of uninterrupted grasses.  He’s one of those purists.  How about you?

© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2013

P.S.  Here’s some other meadow faves:

Meadow Blooms 2 – Chionodoxa

Chionodoxa - Glory of Snow near Dunlop House
photo by SVSeekins

In March, a couple of years ago, I started noticing patches of tiny blue flowers along the roads of older neighbourhoods.  Here were flowers flourishing in areas that hadn’t been manicured for a very long time.

I soon realized these blooming meadows are the naturalized dreams of gardeners past. I’m charmed by that romance.

These hardy bloomers are Glory of Snow, or, if you like unpronounceable names: Chionodoxa. Try to say that easily the first time around! 🙂

Glory of Snow originated in Turkey & Greece – along the Mediterranean.  I’ve heard southern Vancouver Island compared to a Mediterranean rain forest, so it makes sense these plants survive well here.  What surprises me more is that they’re hardy to zone 4!  They can withstand a whole lot more cold. Do these grow in your neck of the woods??

Chionodoxa - Glory of Snow in rock crevice
photo by SVSeekins

Aside from naturalizing well, these plants are also valuable to me because they’re:

  • winter blooming
  • drought tolerant 
  • low maintenance

Once planted, just leave them to their own devices.  How great is that?  I’ve even seen them surviving in shallow crevices of rocky outcroppings.

Chionodoxa - Glory of Snow meadow behind Dunlop House
photo by SVSeekins

They seem perfectly happy in lawns, too, although I’ll bet they do better if the grass isn’t cut until late April when they’re done for the season.  That would mean it’s more of a meadow than a lawn.  C wouldn’t go for that.  He likes lush but trim.  That’s why I’ve added Glory of Snow as under-story plantings in our shrub border instead.

The best patch I’ve ever come across is around Dunlop House Restaurant, a heritage building on the grounds of Camosun College, and their Hospitality Management Program facility.  C’s mum took us there for supper the other night.  The meal was lovely, and the meadow: spectacular!

© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2013

P.S. Here are some other meadow faves:

Meadow Blooms 1 – Crocus

Crocus happily mingled throughout the grass!! That’s my happy place.  🙂

Crocus in lawn 2013
photo by SVSeekins
planting crocus in lawn
phot by SVSeekins
the crocus meadow in 2012
photo by SVSeekins

We started with a Dandelion Dilemma in the fall of 2011.  The chosen solution was digging out the weeds & dropping crocus bulbs in the subsequent holes.

After all that digging, the lawn looked pretty rough through the winter.

Then there was some tentative success with crocus blooms in the spring of 2012.  Perhaps the bulbs hadn’t had time to root well before winter came?

And the lawn still looked like it had been attacked by gophers.  I had hoped it would recover more quickly.

12 mnths after dandelion digging
photo by SVSeekins

It probably would’ve been better to have given that whole area a good layer of top-dressing.  But that would’ve cost more money & taken more effort, too…  So I didn’t.

Over the summer, the grass recovered on its own.  Isn’t patience a beautiful thing?

Only a few of the dandelions came back.  I’ve tried to jump on those as soon as they show up.  Perseverance is a good ambition in these circumstances.

Crocus in lawn 2013
photo by SVSeekins

Now I’m reassured that spring is on its way because the crocuses are here & doing their happy dance.  As sunshine beams down, they open up.  They quickly close when a cloud passes over.  When the sun caresses them again, they open back up.  They’re so whimsical & busy!

What a lovely reward for all that digging 18 months ago.  🙂

© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2013

P.S.  Here’s a post from another writer who did a very

snow crocus, woodland crocus, early crocus, summit park, crocus, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

a similar project, only without all the dandelion to contend with:

… and one from an established local meadow

PP.S. Here are some other meadow faves: