Calendula officinalis 'Neon'
I am often running late in getting things planted out. These Calendulas which I grew from seed planted back in autumn languished in a seedling tray for months, often drying out and looking fairly stunted until I finally got around to planting them . Calendulas or Pot Marigolds are at their best when flowering during winter here and by spring the plants become susceptible to mildew or rust and need to be pulled out. These later planted ones are proving me wrong as they have not succumbed to mildew or rust both diseases common in the variable weather conditions of spring. Theoretically you should be able to have Calendula flowers all year round if you live in a temperate climate as their very name is derived from the Greek word for calender, Kalends. Originating in the Canary Islands and in coastal Mediterranean regions it has been a popular flower in Europe for centuries and has been given interesting regional common names. In Italy it is Fioridi ogni mese; in France Soucis derived from solsequieum or sun follower and in Germany Todtenblumen.It seems likely that the plant followed the same trade routes as saffron in its journey to Asia as it was used as a dye plant in China.
I am impressed with this variety 'Neon'. The flowers have burnished copper tips to the petals which also have a slight twist to them, while the buds are darkly sexy. They have the David Bowie Ziggy Stardust period look about them,with all those spiky orange petals.
Planted between Nasturtiums in an edible flower patch
"The marigold that goes to bed with the sun
And with him rises weeping: these are flowers
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age"
Perdita in ''A Winter's Tale''