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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau


I remember as a teenager having a crush on a certain boy and plucking the petals off one by one and repeating "He loves me. He loves me not," hoping that this simple game would give me the answer to my dreams. Ah, the innocence of youth. Another equally lame game I could have tried would have been to close my eyes and pick a handful of daisies and, when finished, count the number in my hand to find out how many years it would be before I married. Games aside, I think daisies are really sweet flowers. They just look happy. Apparently, I am not alone in thinking that as they have been favorites of people from kings to simple farmers. They are associated with love and motherhood, innocence and purity, joy and truth. Though known to have been cultivated as long ago as 2,200 years, they derive their name from the Anglo-Saxon daes eage, or days eye, referring to how the flower opens and closes with the sun. The ancient Celts believed that when a child died, especially in childbirth, the gods would sprinkle these flowers on the grave to cheer up the grieving parents. I love seeing these flowers growing wild or as be part of a florist's bouquet. And I applaud the state of North Carolina for planting large fields of daisies along their roadsides. I am a big fan of edible flowers, too. The leaves of these fresh flowers also can be eaten and are high in vitamin C. In herbal medicine they are used to ease digestion and coughs, to relieve back pain, and to slow bleeding. These hardy flowers are grown all over the world making up 10% of the world's flowering plants, which is maybe another reason why they are the fifth most popular flower as well. I used to have a blue Lily Pulitzer shift dress that had white daisies decorating it. I literally wore it out. Several years ago I attended a luncheon fashion show featuring Lily Pulitzer clothing. I told them about this favorite of mine and wished they would feature daisies in their clothing prints again. I just checked, and there are still no daisies in any of their prints, though they still make that shift dress! Too bad. I guess if I want to look "fresh as a daisy" it won't be in a Lily Pulitzer shift dress.

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