Calendula ‘Art Shades’, otherwise known as English or pot marigold, is an enduring cottage garden favourite that looks equally at home in traditional or contemporary planting schemes, where the richly coloured flowers will add cheerful character to your beds, borders or pots. They make a great cut flower for your vase, too, and the dried flowers are also excellent added to pot pourri.
This easy-to-grow hardy annual produces masses of frilly petalled, fully double blooms in shades of creamy peach, orange, gold and yellow. They are hugely attractive to many beneficial insects, so make a great companion plant for your kitchen garden. In fact, the petals are edible, with a slightly peppery taste, and make a colourful garnish or addition to salads. They can also be used instead of saffron for colouring rice dishes, or in soups, stews or curries – or even as a substitute for nutmeg, sprinkled over rice pudding. The ancient Egyptians used calendula as a rejuvenating herb and the flowers have been used for centuries in cosmetics and creams for their therapeutic properties.
The seeds can be sown directly into their flowering position or started off in seed trays indoors. Either way, they will flower in the same year as sowing. Calendulas thrive in a sunny spot in well-prepared, fertile soil or compost. Once established, these robust little beauties will do equally well through a wet or dry season, and with regular watering and dead-heading will flower all summer long, well into the first frosts of autumn.
Supplied as a packet of 200 (approx.) seeds ready to sow outdoors in their flowering position or indoors into trays of compost. Growing to a height of 60cm (24in) and spread of 30cm (12in), sow or transplant outdoors from March to June and again from August to October, directly where they are to flower. Late summer and autumn sowings will flower the following year. Spring sowings will take 10-12 weeks to flower.
Supplied as a packet of 200 (approx.) seeds ready to sow outdoors.
Flowers are edible.
Performance subject to growing conditions.
How to grow Calendula ‘Art Shades’