CALENDULA (Pot Marigold)

This old garden plant was once widely used as a kitchen herb but now it is grown as a trouble-free, summer-flowering annual. Like radishes in the vegetable garden, the Pot Marigold is a favourite starter plant for young children. A pinch of seed in spring and in about 10 weeks masses of flowers appear above the hairy, pungent leaves. Pinch out growing points on young stems to encourage bushiness.
VARIETIES: There are now many variations on the flat, orange flowers borne on the old-fashioned C. officinalis of the cottage garden. The colours range from the 1 ½ ft ‘Lemon Queen’ (yellow) to the 2 ft Chrysanthemum-like ‘Geisha Girl’ (reddish-orange). ‘Radio’ has orange, fluted petals and ‘Art Shades’ has pastel flowers – apricot, cream, etc. The best compact variety is the 1 ft ‘Fiesta Gitana’.
SITE & SOIL: Thrives best in poor soil in sun or partial shade.
PLANT DETAILS: Height 1 – 2 ft. Spacing 1 ft. Flowering period June – October.
PROPAGATION: Sow seeds in September or March where they are to flower. Thin to required spacing.