GARDENING COLUMN: All about daisies

Do you remember your Grandmothers garden? In most cases her garden would have had a number of Daisies planted for spring colour. Unfortunately the gardening style of Queensland is changing from the tradition flower gardens to a more generic style.

Last week I received an email from Rebecca who with her family has just moved to Rockhampton from North Queensland. Her Grandmother lived at Parkhurst and Rebecca’s fondest memory of her visits to Parkhurst was the flowering daisies of the garden.

Rebecca would like to know what Daisies she could grow in Glenlee area of North Rockhampton?

Arctotis acaulis or African Daisy is an evergreen ground cover that can spread up to a 1m across. The dense silver foliage and colourful blooms of the Arctotis make an eye-catching feature in any garden. The flowers range in colours variations of red, white, yellow, pink, orange and mauve, that will have contrasting centres. It should be noted that on cloudy days, or even as the afternoon shadows fall upon the plant, the flowers will close up, and sometimes they will tend to flower on the sunnier side of the garden first.

Argyranthemum frutescens or Marguerite Daisy is an evergreen perennial with a rounded shape and numerous daisy-like flowers in spring and summer. Flowers can be in both single or double forms and colours of pink, white or yellow.

Brachycombe multifida or Hawksbury River Daisy is one of my favourite little native daisies. It will only cover about a metre square, and is perfect as a garden edging plant, or positioned near landscape features such as old logs or rocks. Flowers are a delicate mauve daisy-type flower, with yellow centres.

Bracteantha bracteata or Everlasting Daisy is one of Australia’s most iconic native plants. The paper daisy flowers are available in colours ranging from yellow, orange, pink or white. Good as a cut flower the Bracteantha will grow up to 50cm high with mutable heads of flowers. This spectacular daisy looks very delicate yet is very tough for hot well drained positions. Bracteantha is one of the earliest of all Australian plants to be hybridised, with the first plants grown in Europe since the mid 1800s. 

Centrantherum Purple Mist is an upright herbaceous perennial shrub with lightly fragrant toothed olive green leaves. Purple fluffy button shaped flowers occur all year round. This plant makes a great gap filler for established gardens.

Cineraria Silverdust has very distinct silvery grey foliage and will highlight any garden. It is a hardy, adaptable perennial for a dry or moist position and will tolerate sun or part shade. Small bright yellow flower appear during the warmer months of the year. Growing to 30cm high it is ideal for cottage gardens, borders, rockeries and tubs.

Coreopsis Sunray is a free flowering perennial with brilliant golden yellow flowers in spring and summer, which make good cut flowers. It grows up to 60cm and prefers a sunny well-drained position and is ideal as a rockery or tub plant.

Erigeron karvinskianus or Seaside Daisy is a hardy ground cover that produces a mass of small open-faced white daisy type flowers with a yellow centre. It flowers most of the year in warm sunny positions. It can be invasive and need to be checked periodically, as it is a very fast grower.

Gazanias scandens or Treasure Flower is available in several colours, and may be planted as a colour mix or as a single colour for greater impact. Gazanias flower throughout most of the year, slowing down and going off flower in winter. The Sunshine hybrid Gazanias can be planted by seed in open patches in the garden and will form a kaleidescope of colour.

Osteospermum fruticosa or African Daisy is a fast growing sun-loving ground cover that will withstand adverse conditions. It produces flowers ranging in shades of white, pink and purple and makes a great cut flower. It grows to 30cm high, spreading to 60cm and can be grown with other annuals and perennials to create a truly colourful display. My parent’s front gardens currently has Osteospermums flowering in orange, yellow, copper and coral shade.