We had one day of snow and many days of frost. But it has been a warm winter and today’s weather report says today’s day-temperatures are the same as those of April’s!
In bloom in our garden are these calendula surrounded by salmon pink stock and yellow with brown centered primulas.
Calendula (pot marigold) is a genus of about 20 species of annual or perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy Aster family, native to the area from Macaronesia east through the Mediterranean region to Iran. It is also the flower of the month October.
The name Calendula stems from the Latin kalendae, meaning first day of the month, presumably because pot marigolds are in bloom at the start of most months of the year. The common name marigold probably refers to the Virgin Mary, or its old Saxon name ‘ymbglidegold’, which means ‘it turns with the sun’. Marigolds are hardy plants that typically bloom quickly (in under two months) in bright yellows, reds, and oranges throughout the summer and well into the fall.
Marigolds are considered by many gardening experts as one of the most versatile flowers to grow in a garden, especially since it is hardy and easy to grow. Seeds sown in the spring, in any soil, will germinate freely in sunny or half-sunny locations. They do best, however, if planted in sunny locations with rich, well-drained soil. The leaves are spirally arranged, 5-18 cm long, simple, and slightly hairy. The flower heads range from pastel yellow to deep orange, and are 3-7 cm across, with both ray florets and disc florets. They have a spicy aroma and are produced from spring to autumn in temperate climates. It is recommended to deadhead (removal of dying flower heads) the plants regularly to maintain even blossom production.
Marigolds are used as food plants by the larvae of some moths and butterflies.