In early June this year many of the seeds I sowed in March produced the most beautiful flowers. I was able to pick buckets and buckets of them for our home, our family and friends and there were still plenty left to enjoy in the garden.
One of the most productive of all the plants this year (and every year come to think of it!) is the Pot Marigold. Calendula officinalis. I grew several different varieties this year… all gorgeous. The great thing with most annual flowers is that the more blooms you cut the more each plant will produce.
We had every shade of yellow from primrose to deep golden yellow, tasteful buff and apricot shades and best of all bright orange.
The Marigolds have been fabulous all summer but they are running out of steam now. They are still producing a few flowers but they are smaller and not half as dramatic as earlier in the year. It’s autumn and the garden is changing on a daily basis. Many plants are putting all their energy into seed production now. Somehow they know that the time is right to start winding down flower production and let their seeds develop. Like many living things plants adjust to shorter days, less daylight and cooler temperatures. Marigolds are annuals so their survival strategy is to produce many seeds for new plants next year.
It’s hard to believe that such vibrant flowers can change into these crispy seed heads in just a few days. First the flower shrivels and dries then you’ll see the formation of a fat green pod. The seeds are not ripe at this stage so you need to leave them on the plant for a few more days. Let the sun and wind dry them until you see them turn brown and they fall easily into your hand when you touch them. Now is the right time to sow them whilst the soil is still warm and you can collect some for next year too. Remove any excess dried plant material and just keep the knobbly curled seeds. Store them in paper packets somewhere cool and dry for the winter then sow again in spring.
If you have never grown annual flowers before then I can recommend Marigolds as great plants to start with. They are large seeds, easy to handle and germinate quickly too. What could be better than a patch of beautiful bright flowers that you have grown yourself?
Today I’m participating in The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. The subject this week is Change. What’s producing seeds in your garden this week?
Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Gillian 🙂