In spring and early summer here in New Boston a pop up garden center appears beside the hardware store and Dodge’s grocery. It is not large. It is not open for long, but I drop in when I can because I have found plants there that I have not seen before and am afraid I might not see again. Here is where I found Plectranthus ” Velvet Elvis” with its exotic corrugated leaves with a deep purple underside and wondrous salvia like lavender flowers that bloom when the days shorten in August.
This spring I found marigold “Strawberry Blonde” and I brought two packs home for I cannot resist sunset colored flowers.
Down the road past Goffstown, I found this glowing little unnamed French marigold at Devriendt Farms nursery. It reminds me of “Queen Sophia” whose seeds-except for one- failed me this year. This is a worthy substitute.
Marigolds are obliging plants. One can dig the smaller ones up and move them around at will , and if towards late summer you feel you need more for autumn color, all you need to do is cut off some of the lateral branches , put rooting hormone on the stem and stick them into a small pot of moistened potting soil or half sand and half Vermiculite. Seal them into a plastic zip lock bag and wait about two weeks. Rooted, they can go right out into the flower bed. (I keep my cuttings in summer in the house, away from heat and sunlight).
Pay no attention to the haters of annuals and the gardeners who despise bright colors. Two of the greatest gardeners who ever lived-Gertrude Jekyll and Elizabeth Lawrence- loved them and loved marigolds. To quote Miss Jekyll annuals ” put on a brave show, when a brave show is needed”.