Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016 - Wildflowers 'D'

My theme this year is wild flowers. Most of us will be aware of the flowers that grow in our gardens but what surprises me is how few wild flowers that I know.

I pass them every day but rarely look at them. Well this year will be different - even if many of them may fall under the letter 'X' for unknown.

'D'- Daisy, Dandelion, Dog Rose

Who remembers days when you got frustrated because you were unable to make - 

A daisy chain
Perhaps Emily Dickinson was right when she wrote

                     The Daisy follows soft the Sun --
                     And when his golden walk is done --
                     Sits shyly at his feet 

The daisy is a flower that occurs in grassland everywhere.

Daisies at the roadside
There would be plenty with long stalks to make a chain here even if the setting is not as exotic as that where this mother and child were seated.

The daisy chain (oil on canvas; Maude Goodman, 1844-1936)
Childhood memories will include, for many, telling the time by -

A dandelion clock
          Dear common flower, that grow'st beside the way,
          Fringing the dusty road with harmless gold,

No, not -

The daisy
But - 

The dandelion
Famous as an ingredient in wine (made from the flower heads) the dandelion was once used medicinally for constipation and eczema, The tangy leaves may also be used in salads. However I remember picking the leaves to feed a rabbit.

Dandelions and daisies are not always welcomed on pristine lawns, however you should remember that if you can stand on seven daisies at once, 'summer is come'.

A summer sight that is always good to see in June and July is a rose that grows in hedgerows and woods.

Dog rose
As you can see the flowers may be white or pink. In the autumn there is no risk of missing their fruit.

Hips may be used to make wine and liqueurs and are the main ingredient in rose-hip syrup, a rich source of vitamin C.

If you wonder why it's called a dog rose this may be because it was once said to have been used by the Romans to treat rabies, or that its thorns look like canine teeth. I can vouch for the fact that they are sharp!


  • Poem - Emily Dickinson, The Daisy follows soft the sun
  • Poem - James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), To the Dandelion
  • A daisy chain - Escrip en wikipedia - public domain
  • The daisy chain (Maude Goodman) - public domain
  • The Dandelion Clock - Marco27 - CC BY-SA 2.0 generic


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - lovely childhood memories ... all remembered well - the painting by Maude Goodman is a lovely one ... Dandelion clocks - such fun ...

We've been able to see a hand of daisies since February ... but the weather stays a wee bit chilly! Cheers Hilary

Wendy said...

We made our garlands from the dandelions which were so much more plentiful than daisies. Now I'm quick with the garden tool to dig them up. I hate if I break the root and can't get it all!

Bish Denham said...

No daisies or dandelions in the Caribbean when I was growing up. I love the idea that standing on 7 daisies means summer has come.

Bill Nicholls said...

Excellent A to Z for D must admit when we had rabbits they loved dandelion leaves. Never knew the story behind the Dog Rose, that is new to me

Kristin said...

I never tried to make a daisy chain but my sister and I used to pick daisies on drives from Detroit to Idlewild and pull off all the petals except one for a pony tail and play with them like they were dolls. We did the same with black eyed susans. We enjoyed blowing the white dandilions around too.

Finding Eliza

Jo said...

Don't remember seeing an English type daisy here although there are big ones. Used to make daisy chains a lot as a youngster. I always believed dandelion seeds were fairy parachutes. I actually love to see fields of green covered in golden dandelions, so very pretty. Used to pick hips to eat. Thanks for the reminders Bob

Anonymous said...

hello, Bob. I found your post from the Facebook links page. Your theme is not unlike one of my A to Zs this year (2nd link). I intend to look at your earlier posts and follow this blog.
@suesconsideredt from Sue’s Trifles
and Sue’s words and pictures

Sharon Himsl said...

Lovely poem by Emily Dickinson. She never fails to please. I found a wild orange daisy growing with the sage brush in an empty lot the other day. I took some seed pods. I'm hoping I can get the seeds to grow on the property where we let the sage grow. I don't mind the wild flowers in this case.

Pioneer Women in Aviation A-Z

Debbie D. said...

We're not fans of dandelions in our grass, but the other flowers are lovely.

alberta ross said...

Dandelions where one of my Dad's favourite plants (along with roses)and as such we rarely dug them up - I still allow them as a reminder of him - I too told the time with them, and made the daisy chains (I allow the also but as I no longer run a lawn they are not as numerous as in my childhood:)

Like this theme very much