Garden Design

Calendula: Spouse of the Sun

Calendula: Spouse of the Sun
Calendula, also called Marigold (not to be confused with the more common French Marigold), Summer’s Bredc, Holigold, Marybud, or my favorite: Bride of the Sun.

History And Folklore
Ancient Romans were the first to name Calendula, noting that these bright flowers always seemed to open on the first day of the month, “calends” in latin. It’s also called “Mary’s Favorite Flower,” and some churches decorate their statutes of the Virgin Mary with it. There is no agreement among folklorists on whether the legend is derived from the Virgin Mary or Mary Queen of Scotts. It was said to be effective in love drawing spells.
Calendula does well in a partial shade environment and can work well in the corners of a garden and in cooler climates. It’s growing season can extend into October. When growing from seed the planting should be at about one eighth of an inch deep and should be done right after the soil has been turned. Plants should be placed at least nine inches apart and need to be weeded consistently. Calendula can come down with some plant diseases, leave spot, stem rot, blight, and mildew to name a few. You can prevent these by ensuring the plant is 6 inches from any other plants, this allows better air circulation. Insects such as slugs, snails, aphid, caterpillars, etc can occur too. Mist the plants with a spray bottle full of soap and water. I recommend a solution of Dr Brauner’s and distilled water at least once a week until the pests are gone.
Harvesting should be done as the flowers open but pinching off the entire flower at the stem. It’s the leaves that are valuable, the stem and roots are not usable. Flowers can be dried on newspaper in the shade over a few days. In England it used to be boiled and eaten as a vegetable but has made a comeback as an addition to salads and soups. When taken internally it tends to dramatically lower blood sugar and is therefore dangerous to diabetics. More uses of marigold (calendula) in vegetable garden right here (Companion Planting for a Greener Garden )