Most gardeners enjoy getting cuttings or seeds from beloved plants that others grow. But what happens when things, um, don’t go as well as hoped? That was my situation this summer. I was graciously given a bag of marigold seeds from my brother’s long-time friend, Pete.
Pete and his wife, Donna, are gardeners in St. Anthony Park in St. Paul, an area known for having many wonderful home gardens. (The St. Anthony Garden Club plants and maintains the MSHS gardens at the Minnesota State Fair.) The marigolds are a special blend that have hybridized naturally in Pete’s backyard. I got the seeds in late spring, so I planted them directly in the garden, mostly near my vegetable beds. Unfortunately, the bed in question was struck with a fungus-y disease, and in August, I ripped everything out of the bed to prevent any spread of the disease. While there were marigolds, none of them had bloomed yet.
I’d forgotten that I’d also put some of the seed in one of our front beds. So, while pulling out some overgrown plants recently, I discovered this lovely marigold — which I know must be one of Pete’s — blooming away. It has the distinctive rich orange and red that brighten Pete’s marigolds.
Luckily, I still have a fair number of the seeds left over. Next year, I plan to start them indoors and keep better track of where I plant them! Thanks for sharing, Pete!