Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Marigold:

            People don’t rant and rave about their Marigold purchases. You don’t hear them go on and on about how it caught their eye and they had just the place for it and so on and so on….

            Nope. You’ll find them in the bottom rack of the shopping cart almost as if their purchaser is embarrassed to be seen with them. Rarely are they at the checkout alone, but hidden among the prized flowers like Waves, Begonias, or Snaps. If they are a lone purchase is was because they were forgotten on the first trip; and with great disgust they are muscled into the cart, reluctantly paid for, and hurried out to the car; and probably yelled at all the way home for not speaking up when the first flower run was made.

           Oh the Marigold, one of the oldest annuals out there, but it has a very colorful history.

                       
           The Aztecs grew them for magical, religious and medicinal reasons long before Spanish explorers brought them back to Spain (certainly not the bottom rack of their shopping cart on this trip).

            In 1552 it is recorded in the De La Crus-Badiano Aztec Herbal catalog, the Marigold was used for treatment of hiccups, being struck by lightning, or "for one who wishes to cross a river or water safely". The flower is gaining a little more interest now isn’t it?

            Evidently, the hiccup cure-all didn’t pan out as hoped, and the lighting thing… I guess they thought staying out of the rain was a better idea; and having marigolds on board ship was just a nice flowery touch when there was a burial at sea. I suppose at that point the marigold was then dumped in the laboratory rolly cart and set by the curb; where it was picked up by someone like me and planted in a garden bed, and the rest is history.

            So when you make the Marigold selection, give it the honor it’s due, it was a world traveler with high expectations.

            One more thing. People say planting Marigolds keep bunnies out of the garden; I thought this to be true until I saw a bunny eating my Marigolds.

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