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Rebel Gardens

on the reproductive strategy of marigolds

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Rebel Gardens

on the reproductive strategy of marigolds

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Last year, for the love of dark red flowers and want of discouraging rabbits from eating my vegetables, I ordered a pack of Tashkent Marigold seeds. I then spent the first three frost-free months worried that not enough seeds had germinated. The flowers would never fill in enough of the edging of my garden to repel any wildlife until late fall, by which point I and the rabbits would have eaten everything anyway. This is exactly what happened. Yet come October, my garden was edged with beautiful red and orange little flowers in tidy knee-high balls of green fluff, and I suddenly understood in terms of seasonal flora why marigolds were so important to Dia de los Muertos. And most of my vegetables had been eaten by rabbits.

This January, I bought more seeds, and tried to start them in the basement. Less than a third of them germinated, and I lamented that the same situation would play out again, save that I would now have at least two large orange puffball plants to place at the southern garden gate. Yesterday, I went out in the lovely weather to pull up the dead pineapple sage and marigold skeletons and invading grass and plantain. Then I realised why so few of my seeds had taken the previous year, or in my basement experiments. It's a good thing. It means my garden is not entirely made of marigolds. And it should have been bloody obvious, but I'm still learning as I go with this whole gardening thing, and woefully inattentive. In this case, it took literally being stabbed with splinter-like seeds when they got stuck in my shoes.

This sandwich-sized container, you see, contains the approximate seed output of *one* Tashkent marigold plant. Every one of those pods is ten to twenty or so little black and tan seeds. And I had seven plants. The woodpile on the back of our property now *rains marigold seeds* when touched. It may well sprout with overwhelming red and orange love late this summer.

tashkent marigold seeds

So, er, does anybody want some?

(photo totally not mine)
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