The name is old English, a charming contraction of ‘day’s eye’, which describes the flower’s habit of opening and shutting with the rising and setting of the sun. The same wild daisies (Bel/is perennis, or the perennial beauty) were associated with various goddesses of love throughout antiquity. By the fifteenth century they had became known as Amore, or love’s flower, and were worn by knights to indicate that their love was returned by their chosen lady.The analogous game of pulling off daisy petals one by one to reveal whether a lover ‘loves me’ or ‘loves me not’ probably began much earlier, and games like this, and the making of daisy chains, gradually gave the flowers a stronger affiliation with children and enhanced their association with simplicity. In an odd but natural progression of sorts, the love goddesses were replaced by the Virgin Mary, and the lovers’ daisy changed her ways to become purer and more innocent.
Roses, in all colours, combinations and stages of growth, have a wealth of different meanings. In general they signify love, with a rose for every emotion and stage in the affair. These white rosebuds begin the sequence and signify a young girl who is still innocent, or even ignorant, of love.This association is beautifully symbolized by the unopened bud – a metaphor for a virginal girl. An open white rose carries the sentiment ‘I am worthy of you’; while a full-blown bloom says ‘you are beautiful’ – all sentiments for the older girl on the path to love and romance.
Daisies represent innocence and simplicity, while unopened white rosebuds are symbolic of girlhood or those who are innocent of love – the perfect posy for a young bridesmaid
Roses are excellent in tied arrangements. If a posy is to be held throughout a wedding, make sure that the flowers are well conditioned, keeping them in water until the last moment.
Not all types of daisy make long-lasting cut flowers. Leucanthemums (which include ox-eye daisies and Shasta daisies) last well, although their scent often demonstrates why they are also known as dog daisies. Other daisy-like flowers include members of the aster family and feverfews, but be wary if using them symbolically: feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), the herbal cure-all of the ancient world, represents protection but Michaelmas daisies symbolize a farewell. The marguerites used here are readily available as flowering plants and can be used for very long-lasting displays massed in bowls and watered regularly.