Dried Marigolds

Marigolds and Mosquitos: I sure do miss Florida

writing

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.

Dried marigold flowers

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:

  • basil
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • cucumbers
  • eggplant,
  • gourds
  • kale
  • potatoes,
  • squash
  • tomatoes

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!

Holly and I in the garden

The plants we keep and the strength it brings

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At around 7:45am every morning,  I go outside to sit in my garden.  I’m growing flowers, tropical plants and succulents in the ground. It brings me peace watching them over a cup of coffee or tea while the sun emerges from the damp Florida skies.

This is my favorite part of each day.

Some mornings, I  will water my gardens in the traditionally inefficient way of using a watering can. Sometimes I’ll catch the glimpse of a turtle or deer.

Other times, I walk around with my bare feet experiencing the wet earth and dew covered grass.

In the morning, there are occasionally morning glory blooms. They appear in blues and pink, and show themselves for a few hours before they crumble away as the sun begins to shine.

In the evening, we have the elegant flowers I love to refer to as unicorn flowers, as they look just like a unicorn horn before they bloom.

These flowers smell so wonderful and look like a flower made of silk.

There are 3 pink rose bushes, a philodendrum, Florida cactus tree, marigolds, rosemary, elephant ears, fern, Hawaiian tuberose, basil, and many more plants growing in my beautiful yard. Every day I will sit with them and think of them. Immerse myself in their floral energy.

The parallels between growing plants and businesses have always been evident to me. You cannot grow something if it is not planted in the right environment and has all of the needs of a plant of it’s type.

They are so fickle and yet, when you know how to care for them, they can prosper. Seeds plant more seeds, just like customers plant more customers.

When the coffee is all gone and beauty of growth observed, I go back inside and grow something completely different.

With the year 2017 here, it is more important than ever to continue to foster this nurturing relationship with plants while society exists more and more on the internet in an open and connected way.