IF YOU'RE ESPECIALLY fond of daisies, it's easy to grow nothing but; daisies make up the largest family of flowering plants, Compositae. This garden, photographed last June, caught all of the various daisies--both spring- and summer-flowering--in bloom together.
The biggest daisy, and the best-known, is the marguerite. Usually planted in the fall, marguerites develop into four- to five-foot mounds of yellow-centered blooms. Most marguerites that flower heavily one year do not perform well the next, but some gardeners manage to coax them into bloom a second year. The double, pink variety 'First Love' seems to be the longest-lasting.
Another fall-planted daisy is felicia ( F. amelloides ), sometimes called the blue marguerite. This yellow-eyed, blue-rayed spring perennial forms rounded mounds, although it requires pruning to keep it attractive. There is also a white felicia, 'Hartley's White,' which is longer-lived than white marguerites.
Probably the most dependable of all daisy perennials is the Shasta daisy. The double Shasta 'Marconi' blooms heavily in May and June and delivers unexpected solitary blossoms at other times. Shastas should be divided every two or three years in the fall. Other excellent Shastas are 'Esther Read,' a crested double that resembles a chrysanthemum, and 'Silver Dollar,' a dwarf single.