This year I had a ton of homely little plants come up in the garden – left over seeds from last year. And I encouraged them. I fertilized and hand pulled weeds instead of using weed preventers that stop germination. And the garden is a little overgrown, but I have lots of color and butterflies this fall. When I walk out the front door, I am surrounded by a cloud of butterflies that are happily munching on my flowers preparing for winter.
I’ve never seen so many Marigolds. I looked them up and their many uses and here are a few:
Marigolds are used for medicinal purposes. They are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties;
The color in the flowers has been used in dyes and makeup;
They were used during the Civil War and World War I to prevent infection in wounds;
In the garden, they attract bees, butterflies and ladybugs;
Chickens love to eat the dried flowers and they will help to eliminate mites and darken their yolks;
You can chop them into a salad for a spicy flavor and Vitamin C;
They can be dried for potpourri;
They can be used as a spice in cooking or boiled into a tea;
The tea can also be used as an insect spray;
And growing them around the house deters mosquitos.
I’ve never used any of these ideas, but I know they attract Red Spiders in the garden and keep them away from other plants. When the plants become webbed, I pull them up and throw them away. They are a good border plant to keep bugs out of the vegetable garden.
Whatever their uses, they are a joy to the eye. Their scent is slightly spicy – which I guess bugs don’t like – and they handle the Oklahoma heat in the middle of the summer. Homely, yes, but lovely especially when the growing season is coming to an end.
I’m drying their seeds and if you want any, let me know.