October is a month of vibrant fall colors and the flower designated is the magnificent Marigold. With many varieties to choose from, its blooms range in all the fall colors from golden yellow, orange and white and are often laced in a beautiful maroon. Some do have a strong scent that is said to repel common pests, especially mosquitoes, and can be used in gardens as a natural pesticide.
The Marigold gets its nickname from “Mary’s Gold” referring to Virgin Mary and it’s early use in Catholic events in many countries. The blooms are also grown in vast quantities in Thailand and India to be used for weddings, religious ceremonies and decorative garlands.
Here in our area, they are considered to be annuals and love the shore weather and sunshine.
They do tend to re-seed and can be purchased as a perennial plant. Either way, these are must haves for a colorful shore landscape.
Did you know that the Marigold is also valued for its healing properties? Calendula officinalis marigolds are used to treat conditions like rashes, allergies and dermatitis; pain, swelling and redness caused from muscle cramps, muscular injuries or sprains; eye inflammation and itchiness caused by conjunctivitis; fungal infections, including athlete’s foot, candida, and ear infections. Cancer patients often rely on the healing properties of the Marigold and use them in conjunction with their prescribed treatments.
The healing properties of the Marigold come in various forms: Teas, drops, oils and ointments. Marigolds offer tremendous health benefits because of the high content of antioxidants. Marigold tea is widely hailed within the natural remedy community. Many recipes are available to create your own brew, or you can also purchase pre-made varieties. Whether you choose to harvest and dry your own Marigold leaves or purchase a mix sold commercially, the beauty and health benefits of this flower make it well worth adding to your garden at home.