Chrysanthemum maximum

It is impossible to have too many white daisies in the garden, and Chrysanthemum maximum, the Shasta daisy, is one of the most charming, a vigorous herbaceous perennial like a large marguerite. The single white flowers with yellow centres on stems 3 feet (90 cm) high succeed each other over many weeks in midsummer. It is also satisfying to have plenty of white in the summer border to offset the blues of delphiniums and campanulas and the bright magenta of Geranium psilostemon. It is often known as C. X superbum; my own variety is called ‘Everest’.

I confess to preferring the single to the double Shasta daisies, because they are nearer to the wild marguerites of our locality which kindly seed in my banks of rough grass, but if you like the doubles there is a handsome variety called ‘Wirral Supreme’. Both single and double forms last well if cut for the house, and need nothing more than green foliage to make a cool, summery bouquet.

Plant the daisies in clumps of three placed 2 feet (60 cm) apart. They increase rapidly and should be divided every other spring. Being shallow-rooted, they may need watering in dry weather.

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