Gardeners tend to embrace seasonal change—love it. even. With each transition comes the opportunity to change out plantings, play up design ideas, or implement new color combinations. And it’s all about renewal, which resonates with all humans. But sometimes, don’t you wish you had something to use that is a bit more long lasting? Impervious to the seasons? Here’s an idea you can incorporate into your planting scheme, and it doesn’t entail construction or site plans. Use cut flagstones to create petals in the outline of a daisy, a nice sort of punctuation to a bed, or bend in the garden path.
Decide how large you want your stone daisy, and create a template to follow to cut out the shape of petals. You’ll want to think about circumference, so petal size and count is important. I had the room, so I created a flower with six good-sized petals. You won’t have to cut out a stone for the flower center because you’ll use that area for seasonal plants.
Flagstones must be cut with a diamond blade, which you can rent, or ask the rock yard to use on flags you purchase. (Most yards or quarries will have one to cut stone.) Here is where having a template to follow for the petals will come in handy.
Because your daisy will be home to concentrated and highlighted plantings, prepare and amend the soil well. Dig deep enough to place two or three concrete blocks just beneath the surface where the petals will rest. The blocks—a crucial addition–will support your petals and keep them from sinking into the cultivated soil.
Arrange the petals with care, working to create a nice round circle that will be planted as the daisy center. Notice I overlapped the petals a bit to create depth. You’ll need to step back from time to time to check the shape of your design, and maintain that round shape for the important flower center.
Once the daisy is assembled, now comes the fun part. Plant the flower center so that it’s almost bursting, with plants selected for tight shape and good color. A mix of foliage plants and bloomers is best. Be sure to finish planting with time-release fertilizer, so you’ll have optimum color throughout the season. Plant around the edges of the daisy ‘petals,’ but not too closely. You want to be able to discern the shape of your daisy and its petals.
The year progresses, and the colors and plants and growth habits change, but you’ll have a garden resident that will outlast them all. And it’s nice to occasionally have something that will make you smile in the garden, like your stone daisy.
Chris Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design.He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more about Chris and all of his work at chrisholsen.com.