Well, it looks as though old Punxsutawney Phil got it wrong this year. Where I’m located, I think that we are in for a late start to spring. Bummer.
On a positive note, this gives me more time to get my garden seeds started inside, seeing as how I waited until today to place my order. Oops.
I’ve been putting a lot of thought into my gardens this summer. I want to make sure that I maximize use of my outdoor (and some indoor) spaces. For my husband, bless his darling soul, this means navigating his beloved John Deere lawn tractor around some “obstacles,” but he’ll soon realize the fruits of this labor. 😉
What Will You Plant In YOUR Garden This Summer?
This summer I am going to plant more than my typical fruit, flower, and veggie mix. I am planting several types of herbs and flowers, and not the “easy” already started ones (ready to go in the ground) that you find at your local greenhouse.
I have been very methodical in my herb and flower selections for this season. One reason is that I have been spending way too much money on store-bought herbs, especially ones that are harder to find. I recently realized, “This is ridiculous. I can grow and dry these myself for future use.”
…why it took me so long to realize this, I have no idea.
This is also true for many flowers. This leads me to today’s blog post. Today I am writing a little bit about a lovely, beautiful, quite powerful flower that I mentioned briefly in yesterday’s post. Okay, let’s get down to flower business.
Calendula officinalis (aka Calendula or Pot Marigolds), is a fairly hardy flower and is quite versatile. Calendula grows well in my zone (zone 5B) in partial sun and sun (although in extreme drought they can wither). These annual flowers will bloom from early summer through early fall, with their blooming season extended by ensuring that you “head” them (remove old flower heads so new ones can grow). In fact, while these flowers are considered annuals, but don’t be surprised if you have a few pop up next year as they have been known to self-seed.
These flowers are not only hardy and fairly easy to grow, they are adorable, edible, and quite handy to have in your medicine cabinet. Let’s explore this more.
There are approximately 15 different varieties of Calendula, with all of them ranging from light orange to yellow to golden and dark yellow. They grow to between 1 and 2 feet fall with thick, strong, daisy-like stems. They really are beautiful flowers!
Calendula is sometimes referred to as “poor man’s saffron,” since saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. I’ve never tried saffron, but I have eaten calendula once in a salad. It had a slightly bitter taste, which I’ve heard is also present in saffron. It was a nice addition to my salad, and made for a very pretty salad!
According to Grandma (I just love her website!), calendula adds both color and flavor to a lot of foods, including soups, rices, butters, and stews. Not only does it add flavor, when eaten calendula has been said to help with swollen glands and lingering, unresolved infections. It is a great cleanser for lymphatic glands and ducts, as it helps mitigate stagnation in the lymphatics from wounds, gland removal, or other sicknesses.1
I am purchasing a couple of different types of calendula seeds for my gardens this summer, as I plan on using them not only in foods, but also in tinctures, wounds/scrapes/burns ointments for healing, lotions, salves, insect repellent, and other body products. Buying dried calendula and calendula oils can get expensive, in the long run.
Why would I keep doing this when I can easily grow it myself!?
- Wound healing, tissue repair, damaged tissues, skin ulcers
- Eczema, psoriasis (and other inflamed skin, skin rashes, and cracked skin)
- Insect bites
- Cracked nipples due to breastfeeding (it is nontoxic to baby)
- Diaper rash
- Poorly healing wounds
- Amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea
- Burns: apparently it is great for first aid care of burns
- Low immunity
- Gum disease
Are you sold yet? I can’t wait to stock up in various ways this season. I purchased all of my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. The reason I purchased seeds through them is because…
All of their seed is non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated, and non-patented!
When you are buying seeds, be sure to look for companies who have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, just as Baker Creek has done.
Side note…if you do not want to (or cannot due to space, time, etc etc etc) grow your own calendula, I’ve got you covered. I have purchased calendula HERE and have always been pleased. Their calendula is certified organic.
What do you plan to plant in your gardens this summer? Maybe you’ll consider adding some calendula into your mix? Until next time…
Jess, aka Scratch Mommy
This post was shared at– Real Food Wednesday, Share Your Solutions on Thursdays, The HomeAcre Hope, Small Footprint Friday, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Show Me What Ya Got, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Farmgirl Friday, Farmgirl Blog Fest, [FEATURED ON] Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Simple Living Wednesday, LHITS, Sunday School Blog Carnival, Tuned-In Tuesday.