Marigolds and the Dangers of Popularity

Secret Yearnings of Marigolds

I planted a raised bed garden this Spring and made sure to include lots of marigolds. You would be surprised just how many articles there are online extolling the virtues of marigolds. Well, maybe you wouldn’t. But I was.

Turns out marigolds, in addition to being sturdy and adorable and a kickass name for a romance heroine, are excellent garden friends for almost any veggies you might plant. Tomatoes flourish near them. So do basil, broccoli, eggplant and a whole bunch of other tasty companion plants.

Marigolds never have problems finding a Saturday night date.

Not only to they make other plants happy, marigolds have a reputation for repelling garden pests, like aphids and certain types of beetles. This argument is common and fervent online, although according to some articles, scientists disagree. Apparently there is no actual proof the pests dislike marigolds. And after all, why would they? Everyone else seems to like them.

Still, I think it must be hard to tell exactly how aphids and beetles feel, given the language barrier. Imagine a therapist leaning back in her armchair, pad of paper and pen in hand. She squints earnestly at her patient, an aphid who seems slightly lost on the vast meadow of velvet which is the couch. “When you see a marigold, how does it make you feel?”

It might be more useful for that same therapist to sit down with the marigolds in my garden. I should think few events are more traumatizing to a marigold than having its stem bitten in half by a starling. This has actually happened repeatedly. It may be frustrating for me but I keep reminding myself it is far more frustrating for a marigold.

Because no matter how much a marigold appreciates being popular among the vegetables, it has always aspired to be popular with birds too. And now, poor thing, its hope has been dashed.

Rose Grey has written three romance novels and is hard at work on a fourth. If you liked this post, come visit the rest of the blog at Hot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.