A few minutes ago I went out onto the lawns of Ashley Towers with the intention of dragging the lawnmower out for the first cut of the season. Finding that I had syphoned all the unleaded petrol out of its tank for either a Molotov Cocktail or, perhaps more likely, to ensure that the car didn't splutter embarrassingly to a halt twenty yards from my door, I then spotted this little patch of daisies amongst the long blades of grass. Richard Mabey, in his wonderful Flora Britannica, reminds us 'that there is a saying that spring has not arrived until you can cover three, or nine, or a dozen daisy flowers with your foot'. On this reckoning spring has certainly arrived here, although you wouldn't have thought so yesterday with a day as raw as November. The name apparently comes from 'Day's Eye' after it's habit of closing up at night, as Chaucer had it 'Well by reason men it call maie / The Daisie, or else the Eye of the Daie'. After all that I think I might run the mower round them. Or sit out there making a Daisy Chain, but I think after my photography session I've had enough suspicious glances from my neighbours seeing me yet again prostrate on my lawn.
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