Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: In Daisy Days by Mary Elizabeth Blake

Picking Daisies, 1905 (sometimes also referred to as "Picking Wildflowers")
by German artist Hermann Seeger (1857 - 1945)

Below is a poem called "In Daisy Days," written by Mary Elizabeth Blake. Mrs. Blake's admirers included Theodore Roosevelt and Oliver Wendell Holmes, the latter of whom wrote of her: "You are one of the birds that must sing." "In Daisy Days" was published June 1902 and goes like this:

Suns that sparkle and birds that sing,
Brooks in the meadow rippling over,
Butterflies rising on golden wing
Through the blue air and deep-red clover,
Flower-bells full of sweet anthems rung
Out on the wind in lone woodland ways --
Oh, but the world is fair and young
In daisy days!

Lusty trumpets of burly bees
Full and clear on the sweet air blowing;
Gnarled boughs of the orchard trees
Hidden from sight by young leaves growing.
Scars of the winter hide their pain
Under the grasses' tangled maze,
And youth of the world springs fresh again
In daisy days.

Down in the valley and up the slope
Starry blooms in the wind are bending;
Glad eyes shine like the light of hope,
Comfort and cheer to the dark earth lending.
Buoyant with life they spring and soar
Like the lark that carols his matin lays,
Climbing to gates of heaven once more
In daisy days.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite as your source when sharing or publishing.

Spot that Plant: As Maples Bloom

The maple trees are in full flower in Toronto, lighting up the surroundings with their sunny blooms. Individually, these flowers are small, barely even covering the palm of my 3 year-old daughter's hand. Collectively, they shroud each maple tree in a cloud of golden yellow and can be extremely striking from a distance. These flowers mature into maple "keys" which soar easily when the winds blow them helter-skelter, and are great fun for kids as they fling these "helicopters" and watch them spin through the air. Probably not as much fun for an ardent gardener as these keys take root very easily wherever they land!

I really liked the Rainer Maria Rilke quote that I used in the second picture, and tried to find the poem where it was supposed to have been taken. After scouring the Internet, I discovered that he never actually wrote those exact lines! The closest version I could find was a translation by Robert Temple of the following stanza from "The Sonnets to Orpheus":
Spring has come again.
The Earth is like a child that has learned to recite a poem;
No, - many, many.
And for the difficulty
Of learning them now, the prize is bestowed.

It was quite disconcerting, in a way, and I wondered if I should use the more accurate translation. In the end, I decided to leave the quote as-is since it appears quite frequently in popular quotation databases, and I felt that the sentiment suited the image nicely! Let's just chalk it up to poetic licence! :)

© 2019 All rights reserved. (Originally published 2012.)

Spot that Plant: Paeonia lactiflora 'Lady Alexandra Duff'

I took a close-up photo of this beautiful cottage garden peony during the Peony Festival, held yearly in the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens.

This fully double, pale pink beauty is the Paeonia lactiflora 'Lady Alexandra Duff.' 'Lady Alexandra Duff' is an heirloom variety that dates back to 1902, having been bred by Kelway and Son, once the largest nursery in the world. It takes its name from Lady, later Princess, Alexandra Duff (1891 - 1959), the daughter of Princess Louise of Wales and Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife. You can find more information about the plant here.

Do you have this attractive shrub growing in your garden or do you know someone who has? Share a picture and let us know how it's doing in the comments section. Below is a photo of the peony in full bloom (photo credit follows).

Paeonia lactiflora 'Lady Alexandra Duff' in springtime
by Andrey Korzun on Wikimedia Commons

© 2019 All rights reserved.