Marigolds are certainly one of the most popular flowers, and they are among the easiest to grow. While they do have a rather pungent odor, there are some varieties without scent. This in no way, however, spoils their beauty in a garden. Marigolds or Tagetes come in many forms and shades, ranging from yellow with some having a greenish tinge, to orange, rusty-red, maroon and bi-colored, etc., in varying heights from dwarf of 6 inches to the very tall around four feet.
The ferny foliage is quite attractive, along with the delightful flowers and make a welcome addition to any garden, and all have vivid beauty and long lasting quality as cut flowers. They are very versatile and may be used in beds, borders, planters, pots, window boxes and rock gardens. Every year I have hundreds of the six inch Petities growing in my garden, from the charming yellow to the gold and orange. This year I am trying Super Petite Gold. They are the same size with regard to height but the blooms are one and a half times larger, which should make them most attractive.
For a showy border, with red geraniums at the back, my choice is Tagetes tenuifolia pumila, sometimes called the Signet Marigold. The foliage is finer and more fern-like than other marigolds and they bloom profusely all summer long, with their small single flowers in yellow or orange. For a change, in summer, I will be including in my flower picture, a border of Guys and Dolls mixed Marigolds. These grow 10 inches high and are an improved Dolly type. I think the best of the tall varieties is Doubloon at 30 inches.
It is light yellow and one of the most uniform I know, so each year I include some of these in various places in the garden. It is a very excellent one for exhibition purposes. Orange, yellow and red Zinnias add further color, and here again I would like to tell you my favorites. In my estimation, Torch is one of the most beautiful of the cactus flowered types. It always attracts so much attention in the border and comments never cease. It is a rich burnt orange, 24 inches in height.
Yellow Zenith has extra large yellow blooms and grows 30 inches in height. Wild Cherry, deep cherry red in color, always puts on a gorgeous display, growing 28 inches high. These are a very popular flower and are grown quite easily from seed, either indoors and transplanting out in June or in the garden in a sunny spot the middle of May. Here again, there are many sizes and heights to choose from. Peter Pan Scarlet and Orange at 12 inches are another favorite. Zinnias are an all-purpose garden annual, ideal for beds, borders, edgings and cutting.
Have you ever tried the single flowered Sombrero, a bi-colored crimson red and gold, excellent for massed plantings. Orange, red and yellow Snapdragons are nice for a vertical accent. They are long lasting as cut flowers as well as being very striking in a garden. I believe the intermediate varieties are the most popular but the tall types are very showy as background specimens. If you have never grown Bright Butterflies or Madame Butterfly, this might be the year to do so. These are an open-faced snap in single and double versions and usually come in mixtures.