Tag Archives: Leucanthemum ‘Becky’

Our Lady of the Perennial Garden

Photo by Paul Mayer

 

BY KIMBERLY MAYER

A rundown fence runs across our property, and over the fence is the bay. When we moved in, I planted Leucanthemun superbum Becky, a 4’ tall growing Shasta Daisy along the entire fence. A reliable perennial of strong stem and a tendency to spread, every summer we’re more pleased with its performance than the summer before. Last week I cut them all back to two inches, one stem at a time. That’s how the plant comes back, year after year. That is all it asks.

It’s November now and dark and dreary, but something happened to me out there by the fence that afternoon, wrapped in a sweater and parka, wearing gloves and rain boots. As the stems toppled over, I could see spring in my mind’s eye. I could see what I couldn’t see before. I could see that spring is right around the corner and on it’s way. Gardening does this. We live in multiple seasons at once when we garden, and this I consider a miracle of sorts.

Today I climbed upon a steep little hillside to cut back more clumps of Shasta daisy I had planted, for I’ve become very fond of this flower. A shorter growing variety of Leucanthemun superbun known as Silver Princess. Deer hang out on this hillside, and here too, they leave my Shasta daisy alone. “Gifts from the deer,” I call it when I find deer-resistant plants. And again, this one too is a reliable bloomer late spring through summer.

Every year upon this hillside, I note I’m a little less steady. I’m incline now to topple and slide a little more, and I vow to take up yoga finally. A few years back when I first began planting on this slope, I wore my garden clogs. Today I wouldn’t even think of it. The fact is, I am practically on all fours, and dragging my garden tote behind me. And that is how I left my green kneeling pad upon the hillside. Such a metaphor for what I believe in and what my religion is now, I almost hesitated to fetch it and bring it in.

 

 

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Filed under living in multiple seasons, nature as a religion

Ode to a Flower

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Photo by Paul Mayer

BY KIMBERLY MAYER

Orlando. Congress. This has been a tough time in our country, what poet Beatrix Gates called “the thousand day week.” I am writing an ode to a flower because it’s the only thing pulling me through.

A year ago I planted numerous wallflower, salvia, coneflower, Iceland poppy, lavender, lupine, and Shasta Daisy—practically every perennial I could get my hands on from the drought-resistant, deer-resistant tables at our island nursery. I wanted to see what would thrive on a sunny hillside in our piece of old-growth-forest-on-the-bay.

All that I planted, and all that remains today: a trace of wallflower, a little lavender, and Shasta Daisy.

I should have taken a clue from all the roadside daisies on island. Unless you have something you have to prove to yourself, my theory in gardening is to go with what thrives. And daisy may be this island’s flower. The deer have gifted it to us.

This year the variety of Shasta Daisy I have planted is Leucanthemum ‘Becky,” all along a hundred foot fence on the bank to the water, since that’s another sunny spot. Larger and more robust than the roadside daisy, growing up to 4ft tall and blooming early summer through early fall, they are all I need.

The funny thing is, they’re facing away toward the water and toward the sun. South is south, and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s all good. Another reminder that we are not the center of the world. If Trump ever tried to garden with his tiny hands he would know that.

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Filed under deer-resistant, drought-resistant, perennial, planting