Isn't this beautiful? Few annuals are easier to grow than marigolds, a quality that makes them so ubiquitous one tends to overlook their genuine charm.

All a marigold needs is sunshine, everything else it will do for itself. Of course, because I planted mine in the vegetable patch, they were blessed with an extra helping of fertilizer and water and that made them extra enthusiastic.

I can't say they are my favorite flowers, they usually don't fit into a garden color scheme that invariably shifts towards blue and purple hues, and their pungent scent is a little much for me, but I need to give credit where credit is due: this velvety blossom can hold its own with the carnations and the roses.

At the end of the season, the garden shifted towards orange anyway, with the calendulas and the marigolds wrapping up the flower show.

They are useful plants to have in the vegetable garden, where their scent wards off all sorts of pests, from aphids to nematodes, and unlike the delicate nasturtiums they can withstand drought and stand their ground when faced with the rapacious growth habits of tomatoes and squashes.

Mid-fall, they are still in bloom, trying to cheer up the last of the tomatoes and peppers, and keep company to a tiny, but very enthusiastic eggplant.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.