Thursday, 11 October 2007

pot marigolds

Food and flower production and the needs of complementary beneficial insects and wildlife need to be balanced.
In the autumn allotment leeks, chard, brassicas, squashes, beetroot and sorrel are all producing well.
And on warm October days bright orange and yellow pot marigolds brighten the garden around the vegetables. Their flowers are the classic simple style that are favoured by nectar loving insects looking for food and shelter. Hoverflies love 'em!
Pot marigolds or calendula are in full flower in October. The usual advice is to 'deadhead' the flowers once they are spent, but this is the time of year to allow seed heads to ripen to provide next years plants.
I used to collect the seeds and store them in an airtight jar, but now don't bother. The seeds ripen and fall to the soil and during spring and summer weeding I move the new, round leaved seedlings to their flowering position. And the cycle continues.
Seed heads carry their own dark beauty too.

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