Sunday, September 20, 2009

Merry Marigolds

I have a feeling about Marigolds.

I think that are going to make a resurgence in gardens next summer in a way that feels fresh and current

I realize this is a bold statement considering that in years past this lowly bedding plant was mixed ruthlessly with red Salvia (oh my). And that it was often used to line sidewalks or in a ring around flower beds.

Despite all of that, when I look at the ruffled flowers and ferny foliage, I see the potential for greatness.

Taking a cue from the color wheel, tone down the saturated oranges and yellows with blues, purples and lavenders. Tie it all together with an abundance of vibrant green foliage plants.

Take for instance, this landscape. The mass planting of Marigolds is edged with deep blue Lobelia and is framed in green by a lush lawn and woodland edge:

You don't have to dominate a container garden or landscape with this bedding plant. Just a few will make a big impact if they are combined with the right plants.

Or how about one small pot (maybe a blue glazed container) with nothing but Marigolds? Or Marigolds and Basil- they would work beautifully together.

  • As the interest in gardening increases, particularly vegetable gardening, I think Marigolds make sense. They are often thought of as companion plants for Tomatoes (discourages insects and nematodes) so they are a natural fit in the backyard vegetable patch.
  • Marigolds are very easy to grow, producing flowers all summer long. Simply pop off the spent flowers and they will bloom through the summer.
  • They provide some nostalgia for those of us 30 and older. I remember as a kid having Marigolds planted along the front walk- and I loved them.
  • Flower breeders have developed Marigolds that bloom in colors like Lemon Yellow, Creamy White, Tomato Red, Egg Yolk Yellow and Burnt Orange- and every hue and combination in between. As long as you have sun, there is a Marigold that will work in your landscape.


  1. You didn't even mention that aroma that takes me back to kindergaretn where we grew them in Dixie cups for mother's day.

    Les @

  2. They were certainly one of the first annuals I grew as a budding gardener. I agree with Les, the aroma is something you never forget.

  3. Les and Jim- Thanks for mentioning the distinctive scent! I don't know why I didn't say anything about is certainly a "memory scent" for my as well!



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