The traditional English common marigold (Calenda officinalis) or Pot Marigold, has been planted in English country and town gardens for hundreds of years.
Its marvellous bright orange flowers add a touch of summer to the garden beds and it also has many uses around the home.
The Ancient Eypytians used marigolds as a rejuvenating herb and the Greeks were very fond of it as a food garnish as the petals have a spicy flavour.
The flower heads have been used as a food garnish since medieval times and are still used today.
The petals can be used to colour rice if you have no saffron about the house.
They also are used to give a yellow color to cheese and butter.
A broth made of the dried flowers is said to bring joy to the eater and even sharpen your eyesight.
The fresh flowers were used to treat bee stings. If you are interested in attracting more bees and butterflies to your English Garden - click here .
Where to plant marigolds
Marigolds need a sunny spot in your English Garden
They grow best in fertile soil
However they are quite tolerant and will grow in most soils
Beware of soil that is too wet as marigolds hate having waterlogged soil around their roots and will turn up their toes and die very quickly.
Marigold seeds can be sown straight into the ground or into pots in spring and early summer.
They grow to 1 foot or 30cm
They will do well in beds or containers
Water during dry spells or if your summers are very hot.
Marigolds flower all summer into autumn.
They can also be planted in your veggie garden as they help to repel insects.
They will self sow but not too wildly
The flowers are good for cutting, some varieties have dark middles which makes them a striking flower for arrangements.
Besides the lovely traditional flowers, common marigolds now come in shades of apricot, yellow and even cream - though you can't beat the original orange ones!
Enjoy your English Garden!
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