I miss the oceans of marigolds, and spending time doing nothing with my friends. These are my biggest memories of Florida. I miss being able to garden all year round. Marigolds and mosquitos. Pot and painting. Sitting outside, inhaling the gulf breeze and pulling up weeds from the garden.
Holly and I would be outside collecting marigolds from the back yard. We would do this every day. It would only take a day or two before the flowers are dried. The Florida head would do us this one favor.
After they dried, we would walk around with our jazz cigarette picking weeds and throwing seeds.
I loved it. As one cohort of flowers dies, another one is beginning to bloom.
The crushed flowers on our fingertips would smell so good. A sweet smell that I’ll never forget. We could have used the flowers for orange dye, but we never did. The benefit of having an ocean of orange in the back yard was one too tempting to give up, even for a perfect pigment.
We grew these marigolds because of their beauty, and because of how easy they are to care for. We also grew them because they help ward off mosquitos and other annoying insects that call South-Central Florida home.
French marigolds repel whiteflies, and kill bad nematodes in your soil. They have a strong scent which repels bad insects and attracts the good ones, making marigolds a great companion plant.
Plant marigolds in your garden with:
Throughout our gardens, we would have other plants. Some are orange, many are not. Fruiting trees, flowering trees, cacti and succulents and everything in between. Florida is good for those that love to grow. I hope you’ll grow some in your own garden, too!