The delightful marguerite season is just around the corner, and this year brings a wider selection of colours and sizes than ever before.
The marguerite (Argyranthemum frutescens) is a symbol of sun and summer and one of the most popular summer flowers we have. It simply has all the qualities gardeners could ever desire. Marguerite's first strength is its lovely appearance. Light flowers on thin stems hovering above delicate green or grey-green foliage lend the plant to elegant combinations on any terrace. Traditionally, marguerite flowers are white with a yellow centre, but the selection has been extended over recent years to include golden yellow, cream and rose-pink marguerites. Exciting innovations which offer completely new possibilities for creating plant compositions in containers, windowboxes and beds. Most marguerite varieties grow to 35-50 cm tall, but if conditions dictate, both lower and taller varieties are available as well as the impressive standard-trained specimens. Regardless of colour and size, the next great strength of marguerites is that they are easy to care for, and they look great all season. They should be planted out after the risk of frost has passed, and they will then flower until the autumn frosts set in. Marguerites thrive best in plenty of sunlight, but they can also grow in lightly shaded surroundings. Too much shade will affect flowering. The plants must be watered thoroughly after planting so the roots can become established. Once planted in the garden, they can look after themselves with a minimum of watering. Marguerites planted in containers need watering since the luxuriant plants consume considerable quantities of water on warm summer days. If the plants are short of moisture, the flowers and leaves will droop, and a prompt soaking will be the order of the day.