What’s wrong with daisies in the lawn?

4 Jul


This is our lawn…just before cutting…full of daisies. I quite like them actually. We don’t spray our lawn with anything…never fertilise it…I think it makes a grand lawn.

Recently I started following a blog called http://www.naturegirlireland.blogspot.ie . It’s the blog of Mary Reynolds gold medal winning Chelsea gardener.

Mary did a post recently about lawns http://www.naturegirlireland.blogspot.ie/2013/03/glowing-green-fingers.html…I was shocked at some of the statistics quoted. No offence to American people who visit here but all of the stats are from America.

1. America has 40 million acres of lawn which use 238 gallons per person per day to keep.

2.American research (University of California, Irvine) demonstrated that carbon emissions would be far lower if lawnmowers were       eradicated.

3. The EPA in the USA reckons that Americans use 800 million gallons of oil per year in lawnmowers.

4. Pesticide use is 20 times higher in residential gardens than on farms.

Now I’m sure if similar research was carried out in Ireland the stats would be just as bad. All the big supermarkets now carry all sorts of garden chemicals which people carry out in the same bags as their groceries. Weeds are not hoed on a sunny day anymore they are sprayed with weedkillers. The giveaway brown strip of grass along the road is a the telltale sign of  such activity.

On a recent sunny Sunday I was shocked to see a guy with a knapsack sprayer spraying his yard. Shocked because he was wearing no mask or protective clothing …and must shocking of all…a child of about 4 years was walking along beside him as he sprayed. No protection either of course.

Have people lost touch with Nature altogether I wonder? Do people not realise they are poisoning their land…themselves and their families and of course our struggling insects too.

The Earth cannot continue to tolerate what we are doing. It is starting to fight back.   Floods…melting ice caps…dying bees…all a result of human stupidity.

We must wake up and smell the flowers…before it’s too late.

It’s such a joy to go into our garden and hear the buzz of the bees…the song of the birds…the sight of insects flitting about.

Yes! We have daisies in the lawn. I love them!



50 Responses to “What’s wrong with daisies in the lawn?”

  1. sophiecussen July 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    I’m with you and the daisies in the lawn. People always look for perfection in their lawns and who cares, honestly! All that watering and fertilizing and aerating and on and on…but leave it to do it’s own thing and it still looks great!

  2. Rich July 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Right on! I wish I had daisies in my lawn, but they don’t seem to grown around here. We have dandelions, though, lots of dandelions. Why would anyone need to spray anything on the lawn in Ireland? Isn’t there plenty of rain to keep everything growning without adding nutrients…

    • bridget July 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      It’s not always nutrients they’re adding…weedkillers…greening stuff…moss killer…

  3. Jane July 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    When we lived in suburbia,we were the local weirdos. We used nematodes to control bugs and had a thyme lawn. I’m sure they were glad when we left.
    Jane x

    • bridget July 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      There’s none so blind as those who will not see.

  4. cathsveggies1 July 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    I love daisies and buttercups on our lawn too.Anything that brings more bees back is good. I have a new respect for bees now, and have even saved some from drowing in the water barrels!

    • bridget July 4, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

      Can’t understand people who don’t like flowers in their lawns. Weirdos!!

    • cathsveggies1 July 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

      Just today I saw clover in the lawn too, have not seen that in ages….we may never mow the lawn again 🙂

  5. Charlie@Seattle Trekker July 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    I to am appalled by the statistics, I am off to the internet to pull a little more data to share with my neighbors. Thank you this was really great information.

    • bridget July 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      Glad to be of assistance Charlie. They are rather appalling but it’s not just America…every country is guilty.

  6. gardendaze July 4, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    So sad, isn’t it? I used to work in one of those “big box” stores with the big flat carts that the kids love to ride on (so dangerous even without what I’m about to say). It was so appalling to me that the Dads would come in on saturday, pick up 100 lbs of “Weed & Feed” of some sort and then let the kids ride on the carts sitting on the bags of pesticides! We had to phrase our cautions very carefully of course because this is the land of the “Don’t tell me how to raise my kid!” So much better that we should let them poison the kids while we say silent. Disgusting!


    • bridget July 5, 2013 at 6:12 am #

      As you say “so sad”. I wonder when this great disconnect started and will we ever get reconnected to the real world again? Here I see them with the chemicals in the same basket as their groceries.

  7. June July 4, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    I’m with you completely and absolutely, Bridiget. I love daisies (and everything else) growing and living wild in our front and back yard. My neighbours, on the other hand, are out there every single day…yes, you read that correctly – every…single…day – mowing their lawns within a half-inch of the lawn’s life, and putting all kinds of chemical ‘enhancements’ into it, as well.

    I don’t understand the ‘manicured’ lawn mentality. Our front and back yards would probably seem ‘unkempt’ to many ‘suburbanised’ types, but we like it just as it is – as do the bees and other wildlife who come for a visit.

    I love daisies. And dandelions. And I love wildflowers. All wildflowers. And so-called ‘weeds’ aren’t terrible monstrosities or eye-sores in my book. They are part of nature.

    • bridget July 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      If only more people thought the same the world would be a lot less contaminated. Happier too I think…

  8. islandthreads July 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    frigtening isn’t it Bridget, one of the usa blogs I read the writer has tried in some of her posts to encourage people to get rid of their lawns and plant something better, I agree, I got rid of the little front lawn in my 1970’s council house and just kept the bit at the back for the children to play, I’m trying to ellimiate the grass areas in my current garden but as it is big it takes time, I have however got rid of most of the horrid mono culture grass and encouraged friendly grasses that play well with wildflowers, I have daises and lots of clover in the grassy areas now, I wonder if some of the gardening programmes and magazines are partly to blame, and, selling all these products makes money for the big companies, I remember making daisy chains as a child 🙂 Frances

    • bridget July 5, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      I remember making daisy chains too. In some parts of America people are’nt allowed to grow anything except grass and a few acceptable flowers in their front gardens. I find that sort of control frightening.

      • islandthreads July 6, 2013 at 4:46 am #

        good grief that is frightening, ……………. so much for the land of the free!!!

  9. Hello Bridget,
    Daisies, bugle, buttercups self heal, moss. Oh and a bit of grass too, in our lawns – its always a bind to have to cut them some time, but at least we now do it with a Li-ion lawnmower powered by our PV, so don’t feel too bad. Greetings from the hills of Carmarthenshire, Wales, BW

    • bridget July 5, 2013 at 6:24 am #

      Return greetings from Ireland Julian. That lawnmower sounds great. Was it very expensive and where can one be sourced? We still use a petrol driven push lawnmower but would like a more eco friendly model. At least it’s not a ride on. Even people with the tiniest lawns now seem to have a ride on mower.

      • Hello Bridget,
        Its a Bosch Li-on Battery mower. @cos of the battery cost its fairly pricey ….I think about £350, and you can get them most internet sources. The big advantage apart from being ecofriendly is its so LIGHT – I carry it up to the top of our high meadow to cut the path through – which you can see in my last post – it doesn’t really do bowling greens, but then we don’t like lawns like that, and neither do you1

      • Linne July 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

        There are modern push-mowers that are quite easy to use and would likely cost less. We had an old-style one many years ago and I really liked it; good for our health and quite quiet, too. Don’t know if they sell them out your way, though. ~ Linne

  10. Mizz Winkens July 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    We love our daisies and clover too- as do the bees! We leave large areas totally wild with mown paths around them to give some sense of control. In fact we are always amazed at the different contrasting species of grasses in there- some of the seedheads are quite beautiful! Could never quite grasp the concept of a perfectly manicured “weed” free lawn….

    • bridget July 5, 2013 at 6:21 am #

      It seems there are 2 sets of people in the world. People who think like us lot and the green carpet brigade. If only they would open their brainwashed consciousness to see what Nature is willing to give us…if it was allowed.

  11. BeyondTheWildGarden July 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Would have to agree with you! Big fan of daisies in my lawn here! Much better than looking out at just a blanket of green! Much prefer to have some interest in the lawn! And really have to agree with Mizz Winkens I have an area of my garden that I just cut paths through as I love all the different types of grasses that grow up and the wild flowers that appear!

    • bridget July 5, 2013 at 6:19 am #

      Sounds lovely! If only more people would realise the beauty that Nature provides…if we allow it.

  12. Anne Wilson July 5, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    Tuesday, 12 July 2011

    A Lesson


    God said: “Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.”

    St. FRANCIS:
    It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

    Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

    Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

    The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

    Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

    They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

    Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

    They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

    No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

    Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

    Yes, Sir.

    These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

    You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

    What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

    You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

    No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

    After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

    And where do they get this mulch?

    They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

    Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

    ‘Dumb and Dumber’, Lord. It’s a story about….

    Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis

    I hope you don’t mind me pasting this from my old blog Bridget.

    • bridget July 5, 2013 at 6:09 am #

      Not at all…I love it. Says everything that needs to be said. Thanks Anne.

    • Linne July 12, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

      I’ve said for years that it’s insane to plant a hay crop that naturally grows to 3 feet tall, then spend weekends keeping it cut down to 3 inches! Why not at least grow something that is naturally 3 inches tall? I really don’t get it . . . ~ Linne

      • bridget July 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

        Linne you speak such common sense…something that is missing from most people’s skills these days.

  13. KL July 5, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    I completely agree that people have lost touch. My lawn is full of infinite amount of insects, weeds, butterflies, bees. My neighbor sprays to kill weeds. I wonder how much of those washes into my lawn, but I am helpless.

    something must be wrong with that man that he is spraying without any protection and a baby by his side. Perhaps he is just spraying seaweed or fish solution.

    All the stats are from the US because here they keep stats of everything.

    • bridget July 5, 2013 at 6:17 am #

      I’m pretty sure it was weedkiller as it was on a stone yard. Pretty stupid eh!

  14. Alberto July 5, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    I’m totally with you Bridget, but I also feel very frustrated when I start such polemic debates. I feel powerless. I admire your strength in these kind of things.

  15. Herbs for Health and Wellbeing July 5, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    A lot of the plants which grow in our lawns have medicinal and culinary properties. The daisy buds can be pickles as a substitute to capers (a cheaper alternative too), the young leaves can be added to salads and the herb can be used medicinally too.

    • bridget July 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

      At the moment we have self heal (prunella) in our lawn. The Bumble Bees love it…and of course that too has herbal applications.

  16. Anny July 5, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    I thought daisy lawns were the ‘in-thing’ this year – I’m loving mine.

    • bridget July 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

      Are they? I missed out on that on. They were never out for me…

  17. Susie Minto July 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    I’m all for grass that’s left long enough to push up some beautiful daisies and I’m always reluctant to cut it.

    Scary statistics about gardening habits of the masses: it’s a bit like eating and clothes fashion…there are too many programmes on TV in which everyone is persuaded that they have to have the best food, clothes, gardens, etc to look the part….but they’re wrecking themselves and the planet in the process. Arrrggghhh….. You’re so right about hoeing – that’s what my mum used to do in the long summer evenings….gentle relaxation at the end of a busy day – and thereapeutic too…

    • bridget July 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

      With a few hot days coming up we have the best time to hoe…hoe in the heat and the weeds die off in a few hours. I’ve always found it a therapeutic pastime.

  18. charlie July 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    i have been pondering the grass free lawn. Work done at reading uni. Makes sense to me. More flowers, less mowing, no chemicals, year round interest, greater plant and animal diversity

    • bridget July 7, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      Sounds good! Heard of chamomile lawns…don’t think they need mowing…smell nice too.

  19. Donna@Gardens Eye View July 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Bridget it is so sad here in the US. My neighbors spray and cut constantly…I fear our bad habits are spreading to those pristine areas like yours which is indeed sad. I garden without chemicals and blog about my mostly native plants. It seems more and more bloggers are talking about less lawn and organics…what a wonderful world of we could only do half. I love your daisies in the lawn 🙂

    • bridget July 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      It is sad Donna. Going to sound like a right old fogey now but what did people do before these chemicals? They’re only about since the end of the 2nd World War. People now look for an easy option and are brainwashed by the big corporations. The ads on telly try to convince them these poisons are safe. Sadly most people fall for it.

  20. Linne July 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    I love daisies, too! That’s a lovely lawn you have, just as it is. I’ve just sent an email to a friend recommending your blog for your interest in Hugelkultur. She and her husband are having a bad time with a couple of neighbours, as you can see in her last couple of posts (http://heavymetalhomesteader.wordpress.com). We have similar issues here in Canada, but there is a growing movement (as in many parts of the world) to switch paths before it is too late. There is a Facebook page called “Grow Food, Not Lawns” that might interest you. You won’t believe how nazi-like some communities are when it comes to insisting that we all be identical in every way. In at least a couple of cases, town councils have sent in machines to rip out front yard gardens (well-maintained, just not conforming to small-minded fears of diversity). I’m an older, unrepentant hippie and happy to encourage all who work to improve this planet and maintain it in health and beauty.

    You might be interested in reading Michael Pollan’s book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, specifically the third story about a family in West Virginia who have reclaimed a large eroded piece of land and now have an organic farm. They don’t ship their products; to keep the carbon footprint down, customers have to drive to the farm to purchase. But it’s their reclamation methods that fascinate me.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. I love to visit your blog; the photos are so inviting.
    ~ Linne

    • bridget July 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

      Thanks for your kind words Linne. Will look up that Facebook page. I’m totally amazed at the controls that now are law in a lot of the states in America. Can’t even hang out your washing or grow a few veg in your own garden. Crazy! Can’t see that ever happening over here…people would never stand for it. It seems American citizens have become workers and consumers for the big corporations. Government seems to have given in to the lobbyists. So sad! I suppose it’s a big country and in the countryside maybe life is freer would you say? I certainly hope so!

  21. nordicgardens July 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    I love that you are a chemical free gardener. Our alltoment is also monsanto/chemical free but some of the older allotment gardeners love their weed killer and tilling machines.
    Our lot was absolutely covered in dandelions and whilst a pain in the b** they are great for bees. We use a combo of newspaper and hay to try to kill them off as well as
    ground elder’ which is really difficult to get rid of.

    They just don’t quite understand that we are trying to do things a little differently. The hugel beds are great atm, help us not have to water quite so much…as we are also car-less so must walk down to the lot to garden. Hoping to have a house with a nice big garden one day.

    We use a push mower on our allotment as well to avoid using petrol/fuel. But there is only so much we can do whilst our neighbours spray and burn the wood piles… *sigh*

    Greetings from the currently grey Sweden.
    – Stacey

    • bridget July 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

      Sounds like you are doing a great job there. If only other people would take your example. We are having a lovely sunny summer in Ireland…for a change.

  22. Jennifer July 29, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    I agree completely. It saddens me greatly.
    It makes my heart angry when I see people watering their lawn. Why? To make it green and pretty? As I said—why? If it doesn’t rain, it’s supposed to be brown, just like everyone else’s. I just don’t understand the mentality. Every day I want to move out into the woods away from everyone so that my lawn can be full of wild flowers and I don’t have to cut it at all. Ever.
    I’m just frustrated. These numbers make me sick.
    Your blog on the other hand makes my heart sing. Your pictures bring me much peace. Thank you so much for visitng my blog. The few minutes free I get a day while she’s napping I use to blog, but don’t know how much longer that’s going to last. She crawling and starting to stand now. The marathon has begun! 🙂 ha!

    • bridget July 29, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      Baby comes first…and why not…they grow up so quickly. Enjoy it! Thanks for your kind comments. For me the garden and nature make my heart sing. if I can spread a little of that through my pics I am so happy. Maybe in the future you will get your woodland dwelling.


  1. It’s Not Stepford We Live In! | BeyondtheWildGarden - July 9, 2013

    […] control weeds and produce the “perfect” lawn. I must admit I agree with Bridget in her post, I do not see a problem with daisies or clover in a […]

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