Garden Journal

Entries in edible flowers (2)


Plum September - Shades of red & purple in the balcony garden

Purple pansies & violas_2

Shades of purple on the balcony

'Plum Velvet' Viola

Frilly pansy - 1


Originally I was going to publish this post without any words, but this morning I discovered something about my fall garden colour choices so thought I'd share it.

I didn't consider fashion trends when choosing my fall garden palette -- I just picked my favourite hues. But this morning I checked the Pantone Fall 2009 palette and thought the red ("American Beauty" Pantone 19-1759) and purple ("Purple Heart" Pantone 18-3520) seemed close to the shades of my pansies and violas. (At least they appeared that way on my computer monitor.)

You can download the Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2009 (PDF) from the Pantone site. If you're still in the planning stages or having trouble choosing plants at the garden centre, the guide might help you design a colour scheme, arrange foliage and flowers, and choose containers to blend into the background or act as focal points.

But I'm not encouraging anyone to be a slave to fashion. Most important: grow what you love. And can eat, too, whenever possible.


Calendula officinalis 'Flashback'

Calendula officinalis 'Flashback'

'Flashback' basks in the early morning sun.

Calendula officinalis 'Flashback' #3

Shades of Firefox

Pot marigolds on my balcony? Orangey-yellowy flowers of any kind? Never and not likely used to be my responses. And I probably turned up my nose, too. Then last year I saw Gayla's gorgeous photos and knew I wanted a 'Flashback' glow in my 2009 garden.

Calendula officinalis 'Flashback'_4315

Softer, later, smaller -- the calendulas blooming this week on my balcony.

And then everything goes bee,
sun exploding into green,
the mad sky dive
through shards of diamond light,
earth veering left, then right,
then left, sweet scented,
the honing in,
the buzz,
the yes no dance,
the quantum leap into
open swoon of calendula,
yellow orange delphinium starflower,
ultraviolet milkweed forget-me-not,
caress of corolla carpel calyx....

(Di Brant, from “Interspecies Communication” in Now You Care. I found this poem in "Five Canadian Women Eco-Poets" on Harriet, the Poetry Foundation's blog.


Growing Notes:

  1. Sowed seeds on April 19th. (This was late -- Calendulas bloom best in cool weather so I should have sowed them earlier, ideally in March.)
  2. First seedlings appeared about a week later.
  3. Seedlings grew indoors on a sunny windowsill until mid-May.
  4. On the May long weekend (16th-18th), I transplanted 12 calendula into three large (22- & 24- inch or 56 to 61 centimetre) containers with one established plant from the previous year -- a green Pennisetum or 'Black Beauty' heuchera. (I'm still looking for a third plant -- preferably one that trails. Any suggestions?)
    Calendula officinalis 'Flashback'_4350
  5. My mom's calendulas (top two photos), which get sunlight from dawn to dusk, started blooming about June 24th, 66 days after sowing.
  6. My calendulas are in a hanging basket at the front of my balcony and are about 2 weeks behind Mom's, likely because they get less sunlight. The first blossom opened on July 9th, 81 days after sowing.

Calendula officinalis 'Flashback'_4313 Calendula officinalis 'Flashback'_4355_2


Resources on Calendula officinalis:


Now I'm wondering:  Have you ventured to new regions of the colour spectrum this season, either with plants or pots or both? And what plants ("thrills", "fills" or "spills'), if any, would you combine with calendula in a container?