Throwback Thursday is a chance to spotlight an heirloom variety in hopes of either reminding us of a dear old friend, or introducing us to a new love. Today’s heirloom selection is the marigold.
Surely everyone has heard of marigolds? Perhaps, but don’t call me Shirley. It’s precisely the fact that everyone has heard of them that I want to highlight them. Often times our tried and true gets overlooked, and that’s just not right. Little miss Mari is a very hard worker in our gardens and for all she does, some credit is due. Aside from that there are a plethora of varieties, some of which I’m sure will surprise you or at least, you have never had heard.
Tagetes come in many shapes and sizes. There are three species of which most of us are familiar. Mexican Tagetes (cempasúchi), African Tagetes (Tagetes erecta) and French Marigolds (Tagetes patula). They are all beautiful and distinct in their own way. Marigolds are not Calendula. Although I love calendula as well, it’s important to know the difference if you are hoping to use them as companion plantings.
They are all lovely and cheerful in their own way, but they each serve different purposes. I use the French varieties as bug deterrent companion plantings, along with Tansy. I use Mexican and African as a lovely border along my driveway.