Bellis Perennis

English Daisy

The English Daisy is a dainty little perennial often treated as an annual in the warm African climate and replanted as a seedling each autumn. They form dense clumps of bright green, spoon-shaped leaves up to 15cm tall. In late winter and early spring masses of pompom-like daisies smother the little plants. Colours include white, pink and rosy-red.

The ideal growing conditions for these plants is a cool climate, rich soil and plenty of water. They are wonderful for the foreground of herbaceous borders, pots and window boxes or just left to grow wherever they choose to come up in the garden.

This tough little lover of sun and light shade will flower cheerfully and endlessly until October, giving you very pretty edible flowers and young leaves for springs salads as well.

Regular deadheading of spent flowers will keep fresh blooms coming.

Good ranges to try include ‘Bellisima’, with double flowers in shades of rose, white, red and rose bicolor, and ‘Habanera’, with large and fluffy double flowers (some spectacularly two-toned).

Plant with other flowering annuals such as pansies, alyssum and calendulas.

The Gardener