Watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm – 12″ × 8″
The humble Marigold sharing space with a pot of Geraniums on my patio (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Afric).
Marigolds are easy to grow and I used to plant them amongst my vegetables – not only do they add a beautiful splash of colour, the scent is strong and somewhat unpleasant and they help keep the away aphids. The relationship between plants and insects is known as ’companion planting’, it’s by far the safest, natural way to garden organically. And to my consternation I found out that the wild hares that used to frequent my vegetable patch absolutely LOVED Marigolds as well!
Marigolds come in different colours, yellow and orange being the most common. Most of the marigolds have strong, pungent odour and have has great value in cosmetic treatment.
Marigolds are hardy, annual plants and are great plants for cheering up any garden. Broadly, there are two genuses which are referred to by the common name, Marigolds viz., Tagetes and Calendula. Tagetes includes African Marigolds and French Marigolds. Calendula includes Pot Marigolds. African marigolds have an upright growth and can reach a height of 30-40 inches, while French marigolds grow to only 8-16 inches.
Annual Marigolds can be used anywhere to deter Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, thrips, tomato horn worms and white flies. They are also known to repel harmful root knot nematodes (soil dwelling microscopic white worms) that attack tomatoes, potatoes, roses, and strawberries. The root of the Marigold produces a chemical that kills nematodes as they enter the soil. If a whole area is infested, at the end of the season, turn the Marigolds under so the roots will decay in the soil. You can safely plant there again the following spring.