The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making



I say this every time I make an “oops,” even though the saying is ‘whoops-a-daisy.’ Reason being one day at work (previous job), a friend and I decided we would substitute different flowers for the daisy each time we made a typographical error during catalog production. We would shout out “whoops-a-lily” (which stuck in my brain), or “whoops-a-petunia” or “whoops-a-pansy” …  The earlier terms ‘upsy-daisy,’ ‘upaday,’ etc., appear to be the source of the term whoops-a-daisy although they have different meanings. The ‘daisy’ part is a fanciful extension of the word day. The name daisy itself derives from the word day. The daisy flower, which closes at night and exposes its yellow center in sunlight, was thought of as the day’s eye. Upsy-daisy and derivatives were exclaimed when a child, in play, was assisted in a spring-leap from the ground (up from the daisies). The expression ‘Whoopsie Daisy!’, is first recorded in the New Yorker, in September 1925 and means to publicly acknowledge a mistake. It is now also exclaimed whoops-a-daisy, or whoops or oops. That’s a lot of whooping.




Whoops-a-Mojo!? How did he get in there? Oops.

Whoops-a-asiatic lily!

We’re really whooping it up now!

Whoops-a-crocosmia! Which is not a lily but is in the same family, Iridaceae, as …

… the Blackberry Lily – which is not a lily at all!


Anyway, these are all blooming in my garden right now and I have fun walking around “whoopsinging” all the day long.


Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

6 thoughts on “Whoops-a-Lily?

  1. WOW – LOVE your lilies (and your golden-doodle!)I am a new follower, found you over at Gardening in my Rubber Boots. I'm an avid gardener in the Pac NW. So glad I found your blog – YAY!!!-Sara.

  2. What a charming lead! Thanks for the fun, I'll be whoops-a-______ing it all day today!

  3. Well, I have always loved daisies and definitely learned something new from you 🙂 Although, I must say that I do like the saying "Whoops a Lily"

  4. Outstanding photos of your lilies! You really captured all of their detail so well. I love your pale pink asiatics. Thanks for brightening my evening.Kathy

  5. Beautiful garden, love the Lilies. Cute dog! 🙂

  6. Whoops-a-lily! I think I mistakenly identified the asiatic lily. It may be an oriental lily. Apparently oriental lilies bloom later in the season and are much more fragrant – which mine are. Hi Sara! Thanks for following my blog. Someday I would truly love to visit your area. Mojo's blushing.

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