04 October 2013

Shower of Flowers

Do you ever find a post that you had written, forgot about, and then discovered hiding in your draft folder?

I just found a post I started more than two years ago and the timing of this story, during our autumn harvest season here on the homestead is...timely.



Every year when we plant our vegetable garden in the spring and in the autumn, I plant marigolds in a couple of terracotta pots along the edge of the garden.  It starts out like this...

{Those two pots in front are the marigolds just sprouting.}


...and then I get these cheerful little pom poms of bright yellow.


They have a kind of bitter aroma, which is probably one of the reasons they keep the critters away from our farm to table food ~ so as a result, I rarely cut them for arrangements, but this petite bouquet was meant to be made.

Why plant marigolds in your garden?


Because they keep all the pesty pests away from the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, basil, and other scrumptious produce that we grow in our garden.  


And, it's the most effective organic way to do so.


When the flowers fade, I dry the blooms and keep the seeds to plant the next year.  This particular year, I packaged these seeds for my garden club and shared them with my fellow gardeners.


From parchment paper I crafted envelopes, wrote in pencil the contents, and sealed each with a natural garden twine bow.

  
{These two envelopes below I kept for us to plant and the flowers you see here are from these seeds.}


The remaining seeds were placed in smaller parchment envelopes then in pretty scalloped edge envelopes I made from designer wall paper samples.



In keeping with the garden theme, only patterns of paper in greens and yellows were used for the pockets, then each was tied with natural raffia.



I added a hang tag describing the contents and why marigolds are so valuable in a vegetable garden.


This is the information I included {in case you would like to know too} ~



Marigolds are easy to grow 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.

Annual marigolds can be used anywhere to deter Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, thrips, tomato hornworms, and whiteflies. 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.


There were none left in this basket at the end of our garden club meeting and I don't know if anyone had as much success as we did, but our flowers grew to about three feet tall!



So don't forget, when you plant your winter crop of veggies this autumn, be sure to plant some marigolds too and you'll have great success ~ both with the flowers and the veggies.  



Happy gardening and as always thank you for your visit.

Ciao amici,

Suzanne

~ ~ ~ 


Since it's Fresh Cut Friday this week and the flower of the October is the calendula {or the marigold}, I'm linking up, so take a moment and blog hop over to Rose Vignettes to see what other gardeners are doing with their flowers this month.


7 comments:

Grace said...

what a lovely post. I did not know that about marigolds and they are cute also. Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for sharing. Grace xoox

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

I have always loved marigolds as I am an October birthday girl! I knew they repelled deer and critters from munching but I did not know about all their other amazing uses! Thank you for the info. Your little seed packets are just wonderful. Linda

Liz Hockamier said...

Hi Suzanne, I did know that about marigolds... but it never occurred to me to keep the blooms! How smart!!!
What a great party favor. :)

I'm so glad you pulled this post out of your drafts folder. :)
Thank you for joining in for Fresh-Cut Friday!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
~Liz

Margie said...

So happy you stumbled on this old post to share with us! Lovely as always.

Suzanne ~ Italian Girl in Georgia said...

Thanks for all your comments and letting me know you were here!

Ricki Treleaven said...

What a nice little party favor for your garden club friends! I love marigolds, and yours look so bright and cheerful. Plus they protect the rest of your garden from pests.

Lovely post!
xo,
RJ

Ricki Treleaven said...

I featured this post on my blog today!!! :D

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