Urban Jungle, propagation, growing from seed, kitchen garden, vegetables from seed,
The Daily Dibber

Vegetable grower and Propagation Manager for Urban Jungle, UK

A Stripy Slice of Humble Pie

When David first handed me a packet of French marigold seeds to sow after a trip to Paris, my heart sank. However, being the quiet, shy, non-opinionated type, I said nothing, chuntered silently and dutifully sowed the seeds in a tray.

Marigolds?  How could he possibly want them in the potager? They are dull , stubby, garish and boring. They remind me of yellow rubber gloves, regimented allotments where the same varieties are grown every year and 1950s housecoats.

The seeds germinated happily, the foliage became distinctly marigoldy. We pinched them back, they responded happily. Then they were planted out and I winced as I tucked them in. Then a bit fat slice of humble pie was served. They transformed into a showstopper, with the most unusual stripy pinwheel pattern reminding me of a circus tent. They were unique.

Customers were enthralled, photos were taken, notebooks opened and the variety was hastily scribbled down. The phone has already started to ring with enquiries and even reservations! Not many flowers can honestly say (if flowers can talk, which of course they can…duh) that they have a ‘Reserved’ label. These haughty French plants already seem smug.

Last autumn they singlehandedly delayed the winter planting of the café beds as they continued to flower well into late October. We saved the seed as this variety is not to be confused with Marigold ‘Harlequin’ which is dwarf and is available online but is a much rarer variety Marigold ‘Harlequin Grande’.

That seed was over wintered and sown this spring, those plants are now ready to be planted out and will no doubt wow us all over again later this year.

Heres a sneak preview:


limegarden@sky.com • 13th June 2016

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