Country diary: half crazy for the love of Mexican daisies

Country diary: half crazy for the love of Mexican daisies

Allendale, Northumberland: In the narrow microclimates of a paved terrace, they can survive our hard winters

After several days of North Pennines mist, the sky has cleared. Now, with the evening sun, the Mexican daisies by my front door are bustling with insects. A fly assiduously cleans its legs on a yellow-cushioned flower centre, a black beetle crawls around the Fibonacci spirals of another. A buff-tailed bumblebee stops for a feed, the thin-stemmed daisy bending beneath its weight, then moves on to the easier rewards of lamb’s ears.

It was on a trip to Brittany many years ago that I first saw Mexican daisies, Erigeron karvinskianus. They tumbled over walls and down steps, exuberant and joyful. Moving to Allendale 10 years ago, I brushed seeds from my last garden into the gaps of a paved terrace. In these narrow microclimates they survive our hard winters and even an annual autumn cutback using a lawnmower.

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