The Ladies Page


| September/October 1973

Mother grew Marguerites in her garden for all the years I can remember. She also had a few buttercups along the south fence, and some cabbage roses which always seemed to turn brown at the edges before they fully opened. One year conditions must have been ideal, and Mother's cabbage roses opened to perfection. They were unforgettably beautiful.

Somehow the Marguerites have been the hardiest through the years. Her original patch is still with us, and the location is not too helpful to growth. I have borrowed from this and now have two clumps of these in my dooryard. On the farm they still grow beside the old woodshed as though they are striving to preserve memories. They show up well against the red paint. And remember these blossomed here to greet the steam engine and threshing rig shortly after the turn of the century.

The name, Marguerite, may be a misnomer for this variety of chrysanthemum. But the horticultural books tell us that many varieties are commonly called Marguerites. Ours blossoms about September 1st. with white daisy-like blooms.

During mid-June we drove up through northern Wisconsin and the fields were dancing with white daisies. They were the purest white I have ever seen. Interspersing these were hosts of a more double native flower in shades of deep orange and yellow. It brought us into conversation about the meadows dotted with wild flowers which our early settlers found in America. In other areas the roadsides were azure blue with spiderworts.

We then started talking of the prairie grasses which had once covered our country. These stone-strewed fields we were passing were highlighted by jewels of bloom and they gave us a small glimpse of what a picture this must have been (minus the huge boulders, I hope, if one was to farm.)

As the miles ticked off on our speedometer I mentioned that this was one project I would like to undertake - to return our hill to its original state, or as near to it as I could. We have an extra acre in alfalfa hay and a row of young evergreens are climbing to the summit of our hill where we spread them into a wing around the corner.


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