May 24, 2010

A Daisy Tale

While working in the garden this morning, the idea for this post kept dancing around in my head. So now that I'm indoors, cool, refreshed and well fed, I'll tell a little tale about some little daisies.

Daisies Don't Tell

It was springtime, and Joe and I were moving some friends from one garden to another. Pushing a wheelbarrow full of day lilies up our sloping lawn toward their new home, I happened to look down in time to stop before flattening two scraggly little wild daisies who had valiantly struggled up through the grass. They looked so forlorn I took pity on them and started to navigate around them. Just at that moment, the man who mows our lawn pulled into the driveway with his trusty John Deere. On impulse I whipped the trowel out of my pocket, dug up the little daisies and tossed them on top of my load.  Also on impulse I dug a couple of little holes in the newly prepared soil in the border, stuck in the daisies, gave them a quick drink of water, and turned my attention to the lilies.

That summer the lilies bloomed in brilliant profusion, while the little daisies produced one or two not very enthusiastic blossoms. Although I kept watering them and clearing the weeds away, I didn't hold out much hope for their future.  And when winter brought its usual snow and ice storms, daisies were the last thing on my mind. Curling up with cocoa, book and cat kept me busy.

Spring rolled around, and Joe and I planted marigolds and petunias in the borders. When their little green shoots appeared, we noticed a few little strangers coming up among them and for some reason didn't pull them out with the dandelions and other weeds. And when they bloomed, we realized what they were. Daisies.

Another year passed, and April found us on a pilgrimage to my old haunts in Texas -- missing planting season here in Maine. During our trip we lamented that there would be only lilies blooming in our garden that summer. No marigolds, no petunias.... We dreaded the moment when we'd drive in the driveway again and see nothing but clover and the dreaded dandelions.

Well, we were right. There weren't any marigolds or petunias. And we were wrong. There was no clover, nor were there dandelions. Those unwelcome intruders had been valiantly chased away. And in their place, swaying in the breeze as if waving a homecoming welcome ... hundreds and hundreds of white and yellow flowers.  Daisies.

Many springtimes have come and gone since that day, and the lilies continue to flourish. We always have geraniums in pots on the deck, petunias and marigolds, alyssum and lobelia in the window boxes.

And in the border, wild daisies.

This morning, in what has become an annual ritual, I gently moved a couple of dozen newly sprouted wild daisies to their new homes in the sunny border. Tomorrow I'll move a couple of dozen more. And in the days to come I'll move as many as I can find into strategic spots where they'll wave their welcoming blossoms all summer long ... and for as many summers as Joe and I are blessed to live.

"Daisies don't tell." They may not tell, but show them a small kindness, and they sing ... and continue singing for years to come.

Their song is titled "Thank you."


  1. How lovely Mollie! Daisies are so sweet.
    Thanks for visiting my blog! Maine sounds very different to Texas!

  2. Awwww, Mollie! I love your daisies! So sweet and simple and homey! My garden is mostly grass! :D One of these days I will get the energy to weed!!
    xo Cait

  3. How sweet Mollie! You tell a story so well. :)

  4. Lovely photos and story... you tell it so well!

  5. That's a very lovely story and I love daisies like you Mollie:-)

  6. Love and kindness go a long way... and then come back!

    Lovely story, Mollie. I do love the way you write.


  7. OK....I'm officially crying tears of joy now!! What an absolutely uplifting and beautiful story. I now know what I am going to plant along a sunny border section in my front yard that has defied all my efforts....Daisies! And I'll wager that they will flourish and be singing to me all summer and all through the years and I will always think of you and YKW waving at me from Maine!

  8. I can imagine how lovely and surprise to see hundreds and hundreds of daisies. Thank you for sharing this, Mollie :)