I love red and for several years I tried growing red petunias in front of the boxwood hedge in the front garden. I thought that true bright red would go well with the bricks. But, petunias just didn’t thrive in that soil. I then tried red salvia. That didn’t work either. But marigolds? Yup, marigolds work. And so one of the first garden chores, or perhaps it’s a garden rite of passage, is the planting of marigolds. Yesterday I planted three flats of Sahara Red marigolds.
Marigolds are native to Central America but are now grown around the world. They are used in Buddhist and Hindi ceremonies and in some cultures are prized for their essential oil. Marigolds have been used to insure safe travel across a river, as a treatment for lightening strikes, and as a cure for hiccups.
It was the Spanish who took marigold plants to Europe from Mexico, although, there may have been a variety growing wild in West Africa. I grow them for their consistent color throughout the spring and into the fall. Their shallow roots make them easy to pull up after the last hard frost.