I grow Calendula officinalis every year from seed. It’s a hardy annual with big curved seeds. They are very easy to grow… so if you have small children who would like to grow their own flowers then these are just perfect. This year I have grown several different types of Calendula.
Colours range from pale lemon to deep orange and every shade in between. The only drawback with Calendula flowers as far as I can tell is that they have no scent. You can easily get around that! Here are some I picked from my garden popped into a little metal pot with s few sprigs of scented honeysuckle.
Commonly known as Marigolds, Calendulas are native to warmer countries. They grow wild in western Europe, the Mediterranean and south west Asia. They thrive here in the UK and will probably grow happily in most other countries as long as you can give them the conditions they need. They like a spot in full sun with free draining soil. My soil is heavy clay but I grow my sun loving annuals in a purpose built raised bed or in large pots on my patio.
A compact Calendula is Daisy Mix. It’s short which makes it ideal for edging or patio pots and like most Marigolds it flowers it’s head off. These plants are covered with many daisy-like flowers in all shades of yellow for at least three months. You can float the flower heads in a bowl of water if the stalks are too short for a vase.
Their bright flowers provide a nice contrast to other plants. Here they are growing behind a clump of Salvia viridis… Clary Sage.
Taller varieties include Calendula Touch of Red, Sunset Buff and Indian Prince. These will all grow to about 45cm to 50cm /18-20 inches tall and are good for cutting if you want flowers in the house.
Calendula Touch of Red has blooms in soft shades with a clear red edge to the petals. It’s good for picking.
Most Important: All Calendulas will flower for a long time… if you pick the flowers every day or you’ll need to remove the flowers once they have faded. Once they set seed that’s it, flowering is over.
Marigolds are on my list of BEST HARDY ANNUALS to grow.
Calendulas are worth growing for many reasons. They are fast, easy, prolific flowering and will give your garden a country garden style. What’s more Marigold flowers are edible. You can add the petals to salads and even make tea from dried petals… they have properties that kill cancer cells I’ve heard. Even if you don’t eat them I can thoroughly recommend them!
I’m joining in with Judith for Mosaic Monday today at Lavender Cottage. Just click the link to see more.
Happy Gardening! Gillian 🙂