I have to admit that I didn’t use to think much of marigolds. I think that I sort of grouped them with dandelions in my mind. In my defense, this was before I had a garden, and flowers were not something I spent a whole lot of time thinking about.
Then I saw the Mira Nair film, Monsoon Wedding. It’s about a Punjabi wedding, and there must be about a hundred thousand marigolds in the film. Someone even puts a whole one in his mouth and eats it.
Suddenly, I saw marigolds slightly differently. That was about ten years ago, and in the intervening years I have come to appreciate many qualities of the marigold. They are generous and free-flowering; they are unfussy and forgiving; they are pest control allies; and of course, they are a lovely burst of color, available in all sorts of varieties.
The newest addition to our consortium is Yummy Mummy, a chrysanthemum-flowered marigold (hence the name, which I find quite satisfying). Here she is from her spot among the tomato plants: