Tag Archives: marigold

Edible flower garden

Last season my aunt gave me full run of the flower garden at the front of the house. She had trouble with Scarlet lily beetles in 2014. She really hates bugs so once I told her what the beetles were and what they were attracted to, she wanted the lilies gone. However, she couldn’t bring herself to get rid of them right away. I was still left with plenty of space for my edible flower garden.

All ready for planting!

All ready for planting

I planted sunflower, cornflower, borage, lupine (not edible), and nasturtium seeds, and a lavender plant I bought at Kensington Market. I also remember planting viola but they didn’t take.

Lupine - it didn't survive

Lupine – planted out in late May. 

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This is as big as the lupine got. It didn’t survive.

Although I didn’t have the trailing variety, I thought nasturtiums would look great in the hanging pots (at the front and in the back yard) and in the planter boxes on the railing. Unfortunately the pots at the front were attacked by aphids. The ones at the back were perfectly fine. I purposely used seeds I had harvested from city plants at the front, knowing we wouldn’t be eating from those pots, and saved the organic seeds for the back yard.

Nasturtium from organic seeds

Nasturtium from organic seeds – looks tasty!

Organic nasturtium in full bloom

Organic nasturtium in full bloom

Nasturtium from city harvested seeds

Nasturtium from city harvested seeds. Not bad looking from far away, but on closer inspection…

Aphids running wild!

Aphids running wild!

Overall, I think the flower garden turned out pretty well.

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L to R – lavender, lilies, sunflower, marigold, cornflower, roses; nasturtium in the planter boxes. End of August. Borage had already run its course.

Lavender

Lavender

Pink cornflower

Pink cornflower – I bought a mix and got purple and blue as well

I bought some other flower seeds that I didn’t end up using this year: cosmos, larkspur, and poppies. Hope to plant more varieties next year (and I’m eyeing some more I’d like to purchase – velvet queen and autumn beauty sunflowers, for example) and harvest some as cuttings in addition to using them as companion plants.

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Marigold or ragweed?

When I was last at the community garden, my neighbour to the right walked by, pointed to what I thought was marigold, and said, “that’s ragweed. You should pull it.” To ease the pain, he did confirm that some may be marigold (“did you plant marigold?”, “yes”), but one was definitely ragweed.

At first I didn’t want to believe him, so I moved what he said was ragweed to the back corner of the plot, just in case. Then I inspected the leaves more carefully, compared them to what I knew were marigolds in surrounding plots, and discovered that they were different.

Ragweed

Ragweed

Marigold -- the leaves are much different

Marigold — the leaves are much different

A smaller ragweed

A smaller ragweed at the back of the plot

I found this cool leaf ID chart online. It looks to me like the marigold and ragweed leaves are both odd pinnate, but the ragweed leaves are lobbed while the marigold are lanceolate. Interesting.

Anyway, I pulled the ragweed. Only hope I can tell the difference more quickly in the future.

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