Inadvertently out on the cutting edge of garden fashion

rusty_blackhaw(6a)August 9, 2014

It seems that marigolds are "in". Article today in the Wall St. Journal about the Untermyer Garden Conservancy in Yonkers, N.Y. going for marigolds in a big way.

Earlier this summer I planted a bunch of marigolds as a mid-season replacement in the annual/perennial/subtropical bed, so once again I am a trend-setter, if unconsciously.

For strict perennial-lovers, the article also has kind words for such things as day lilies and queen-of-the-prairie (which I am working to eradicate from its stranglehold on parts of the garden). It also includes a good quote from Marco Stufano (best known for rejuvenating the garden at Wave Hill):

"There is nothing too common. You have to look at a plant with fresh eyes. What is it really about? What can it do for me? I tell people to think of flowers as a great big box of Crayola crayons," he added. "See what you have. Don't rule anything out."

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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Funny you mentioned marigolds. I had a bare area from some spring bulbs which died back. It was mid July and I wanted something in that spot. The only things that looked half-ways decent at the garden center were the dwarf marigolds - $1 per six pack. Bought a couple, stuck 'em in and you know, I'm loving 'em! They're those bright gold ones. And I absolutely LOVE the smell of marigolds. I had forgotten that. Pure summer!

Kevin

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:35PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Eric, you trendsetter, you!

I...LOVE... marigolds! Always have. They're colorful, hardy, low-maintenance, pest-free, and reseed, but not aggressively. And I love the scent as well.

I like that quote about "nothing is too common". I think those are wise words!

Dee

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 1:34PM
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SunnyBorders(5A)

Thanks.
Entertaining article, Eric.

I'm definitely a perennial gardener, but I certainly use annual fillers as necessary.

Have used marigolds, which I do love. The one problem is their reseeding.

Now, each year, we always have a pot of marigolds on our deck.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 4:18PM
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TexasRanger10(7)

Having been informed once that my garden full of grasses and common plants looked like an industrial planting or perhaps something you'd see for a parking lot planting I feel downright vindicated. I added one a couple weeks ago that is as common as it gets, namely cockscomb, six of them-- the red kind with the red combs straight off the markdown table at Farmer's Market where they were looking desperate for homes. It ought to be on the list in that article you posted.

That flash of red came to me out of the blue. I mean, suddenly what I wanted was 'hot flashes' of red, not rare or expensive plants because its adding the color I'm after & I was glad F.M. hadn't tossed them yet. Here's hoping they seed their little heads off come fall and spread those reliable flashes of red all over the place for free next year.

You can just make out the little flash of red amongst the common yellow annual helenium aka bitterweed.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 4:59PM
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SunnyBorders(5A)

That does look attractive, TR.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 7:16PM
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qbush(6, NE MA)

Texas: looks like classic southwestern xeriscaping to me, and absolutely delightful. You should get extra points for treading lightly on water resources!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 7:24PM
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arlene_82(zone 6 OH)

Yes to marigolds! So reliable and fast to bloom from seed. Here's my pot of Disco Flame amongst the pachysandra.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:05PM
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adellabedella_usa

Lol! We are usually so far behind, a trend laps us and it looks like we set the trend.

I planted marigolds this year along with several other plants that are considered "common". Most of these plants take the heat well and are drought tolerant. I've had particularly good luck with zinnias and crepe myrtle. The lantana planted in full does well, but not those next to the trees.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:38PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I didn't know marigolds were ever "out".

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 6:17AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

I skimmed the WSJ article and was curious about the garden it mentioned. Here's a link to pictures...partway down the page, you can scroll through a bunch of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Untermyer Gardens marigolds

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:45AM
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ryseryse_2004

I never buy the plants, I just sprinkle the seeds all around all of the tulip and narcissis bulbs and they start emerging about the time the flowers are going dormant. They are all just lovely now and full of blooms.

I love them anywhere a bare spot is going to happen after early spring flowers are finished. Then, in late fall, I gather a gallon zip-lock full of seeds!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:01AM
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Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

I have always loved yellow marigolds. Mine get fairly tall. They are so cheerful.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:07AM
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Campanula UK Z8

Yep, the taller tagetes (we call calendula 'marigold) has often been a reliable flash of colour on the allotment (looks nice with stipas) but I have not grown them for a few years. In truth, I don't care for the odour of them....and I really don't like the large-headed African marigolds, but they are a welcome slash of orange when my geums go over too. I had a little phase of using the very short tagetes tenuifolium 'Little Gem' types (with parsley) and I really liked it - might have to order for next year. Funny how plantings can go in cycles.....I am growing ipomeas (the one measly survivor) after a break of a decade (and I expect it will be another 10 years before I have a go again).

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 6:14PM
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TexasRanger10(7)

Its always interesting how a smell is good to one person but a stink to someone else. I love the smell of marigolds but then I also like the smell of lantana which lots of people hate. The problem I had with M.G.'s was spider mites. Every time I grew them they'd get plastered solid in spider mites & nothing you can spray gets rid of them, lady bugs or lacewings won't eat them, I don't think they have a natural predator so they always win the war. Same thing happens with ageratum. There's pests I don't like much but then there's pests I passionately hate, namely spider mites, so I banned any plant that attracts them hoping to never see the cobwebby, maggoty buggers ever again.

Sad because I really like that orange one Arlene posted a photo of. I hadn't seen that one before.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:21PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

I haven't grown the taller ones in years and years because when I did, a few would always get sick, turn all yellowish and just look like crap. It always left a big hole in my garden because it would happen so late in the season. I wonder if that was the work of the spider mites? I sure like them though.

Kevin

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:47PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I grew the tall big-bloomed ones when I sold bouquets at the farmers market, but my heart really belongs to the smaller ones, especially in variegated shades of orange. One of my favorites is Queen Sophia.

And yes, the scent seems to be something people either love or hate. Count me as one who loves it!

Dee

Here is a link that might be useful: Queen Sophia

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:30AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

My only real beef with marigolds has been the absence of a true red.

There are multiple varieties billed as red marigolds, and some even look reddish close up. Back away a few feet, though, and they all look orange, or at best orange-red.

My current fillers are , which feature various combinations of red and yellow and don't pretend to be true reds.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:44AM
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Campanula UK Z8

Betcha like that whiffy nepeta too, Dee? Herb Robert?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:52AM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

I am a seed sprinkler, too. Here is a close up of one my marigolds.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:23AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

What a great color. I think I'm getting into an orange-purple phase and to me that marigold looks perfect.
Thanks for the link, I'm always happy to see a new garden 'raised from the grave' and returned to it's former glory. So much nicer than a new walmart opening or subdivision.
marigolds are one of the few plants which I actually like more the shorter they get, usually I look down on dumpier dwarfs (pun intended)... except for the big flowered ones, those I like tall.
It's a relief to finally be able to move the marigolds out to the front yard again. I did hear they were "out" and shamefully put them away in the vegetable garden and was a little embarrassed for my brother. He has them all out front for everyone to see.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:02AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Yep, that's the color of mine and I love 'em.

Kevin

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:08AM
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TexasRanger10(7)

This favorite plant is called Desert Marigold, its a SW native wildflower I started from a $2 pack of seeds years ago. The blue foliage is nice with the soft yellow flowers. They have a big taproot so they never need watering, they self seed all over my garden every year but I just leave the ones I want and cull out the rest. They bloom like crazy from spring to frost.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:04PM
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arlene_82(zone 6 OH)

TexasRanger, that is just lovely! I have been planning to actively veer away from yellow flowers in my garden, but I am really digging the cool and delicate blue/yellow combo there. I would try it if it worked in my zone, but it doesn't appear that it would.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:13PM
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TexasRanger10(7)

Arlene, it's a biennial that blooms itself out in a season. All it requires is good drainage, mine are in sandy soil on a slope but some come up in back in regular soil. Too much water kills them but if you have a dry spot, you can grow it. I originally purchased seed from Plants of the Southwest - its a common plant and seed is available elsewhere. Mine come up in winter when its mild and take off in spring but many more plants also come up in spring and they grow quickly and bloom, they get bigger as the season progresses and love hot & dry. Its one of my favorite plants for filling in spaces. The color is stunning.

Baileya multiradiata is the name.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:00PM
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