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In The Garden

Flowers of the Month

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April - Daisy

Daisy flowers make wonderful cut flowers. These flowers are sweet, cheery, and can uplift anybody’s day.

The name ‘daisy’ came from Anglo Saxon words ‘daes eage’ meaning ‘day’s eye’. This is due to the fact that the flowers open at dawn, just at the time, when the day is about to begin. The flowers originated in Central, Northern and Western Europe, however now they are grown throughout the world.

Different types of daisies include the African daisy, Painted daisy, Gerber daisy, and Michaelmas daisies. Gerber daisies, discovered by Robert Jameson in 1884, represent beauty and cheerfulness.

Daisy is one of the most favorite garden plants. It is an excellent plant for bedding, borders and ground covers. Daisies are also can be used for container displays for indoors or greenhouses

Dried Daisy flowers are wonderful for wreath making. Daisies arranged in woven baskets are also very popular.

Flower Language:

The flower symbolism associated with the daisy is purity, innocence, loyal love, beauty, patience and simplicity.

Orange daisies given to a man says you he is the sunshine of her life.

Red gerbera daisies, especially when presented in a bouquet, symbolize "unconscious in love."

Everyone knows the ~he loves me, he loves me not~ rhyme with which one learns the fate of a romance by plucking a daisy's petals.

It is believed that Daisy flowers may be used for future telling, magical spells and love spells.

Through the Ages:

Beautiful gold hairpins, ending in a daisy like ornament, were found when the Minoan palace in Crete was excavated. They are believed to be more than four thousand years old. Five hundred years later a game board, bordered by a design of yellow and white daisies was found.

Numerous daisies are to be found on ceramics in Egypt as well as elsewhere throughout the Middle East.

Egyptian tradition used daisies to symbolize closeness to nature and give reverence to the glories of the earth's sun.

When an English milkmaid wanted to dream of her lover, she would put her shoes outside the door and daisy under her pillow.

They became feared and hated for its tendency to take over crop fields and gardens.  The Scots, called them *gools* and appointed gool-riders to remove the daisies from wheat fields. The farmer found to have the biggest crop of gools had to pay a fine of a castrated ram.

According to an ancient Celtic legend, daisies came from the spirits of children who died at birth. To cheer up their parents, God sprinkled the flowers all over the earth. This legend is the reason why daisies have the meaning of innocence.

The ancients dedicated it to Artemis, the goddess of women.  

The fragile stature of the daisy flower was historically used by maidens and queens to decorate their hair. Maidens who wore daisies were known to be pure and untouched, awaiting a loving relationship.

Christian Symbolism: It became the plant of St. Mary Magdalen and was called the Maudelyn or Maudlin daisy.

Medicinal Uses

The common daisy has astringent properties which used in traditional medicines. Certain types of daisies were also known to have medicinal properties that could give relief from indigestion, cough and even heal wounds.

In Wales during the Middle Ages, daisies were used to cure insanity, treat smallpox, tumors, jaundice and skin disease.

The Countess of Kent practiced medicine in her home. She invented the *Countess of Kent’s Powder* with the common daisy and other expensive drugs, for malignant and pestilent diseases. It was expensive and beyond the means of common sufferers.

King Henry VIII ate daisies to relieve his stomach ulcer pain.

From the 13th century, physicians also applied daisies for treating wounds.

Flower, pounded into a powder and mixed with wine, was thought to be an effective tonic.

The flowers were also thought to hold the powers to cure insanity.

Culinary Uses

Daisy flowers are often used in making honey and herbal tea. They can be eaten raw in soups and salads.

It is rich in vitamin C and other minerals.

REMEMBER:  You also should NEVER use pesticides or other chemicals on any part of any plant that produces blossoms you plan to eat.   * Never harvest flowers growing by the roadside.

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Oh the pretty flowers,
Coming ere the springtime
To tell of sunny hours.
While the trees are leafless,
While the fields are bare,
Buttercups and daisies
Spring up here and there

~Mary Howitt

April - Sweet Pea

The sweet pea flower is an annual, which means it blooms for one season only.

It is a member of the pea family and boasts fragrant, colorful, butterfly shaped flowers.

The sweat pea is a climbing herb with the official name of Lathyrus odoratus. It is native to Italy.

The name "sweet pea" comes from "lathyros," which is the Greek term for "pea," and from "odoratus," which is Latin for "fragrant."

Sweet peas were popular during the late 19th century and were widely grown in 1722 for their sweet fragrance.

Sweet pea flowers naturally self pollinate while still in bud.

They come in a large range of colors, but not yellow.

Some gardeners refer to the sweet pea as the "queen of annuals." Sweet peas are treasured because they are long lasting, colorful and fragrant.

Flower Language:

The meaning of Sweet Pea is blissful pleasure

Adieu and thank you for a lovely time

Japanese: Goodbye

 

EMBLEM

Edwardian England: were an important part of floral arrangements for every wedding and dinner party

 

Misc.

Dried petals of sweet peas was one of the most important ingredients for potpourris.

Grow sweet peas in full sun in well-drained, rich soil.

Ideally, soak the seeds overnight before planting.

Do not plant them deeply; 1 inch is enough.

The seeds should be planted 3 to 4 inches apart.

After the sweet pea has grown, deadhead the flowers on occasion to grow better.

Leave a few flowers on the plant at the end of the growing season so the plant will reseed for the next year.


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