The weather continues to be mild which allowed Big John to head out and bring in more Holiday Light Show (HLS) cords, lights, etc. We continue to process incoming HLS elements as the weather is helping us out right now and we like to have everything packed away neatly by mid March. John also worked on processing some HLS items inside this morning. We constantly are making space for multiple activities at the Horticulture Center which will soon include more painting, carpentry and other projects. Bill O. came in to prepare many items for painting and Vern continued on a carpentry project. Janice was in for some research and we also saw Gary, Urban and many others.
I'm a huge fan of annuals and their colorful use out in the gardens. I'll never grow tired of marigolds (Tagetes sp.) for their long-period of bloom and drought tolerance. The photo above (photo from T. Bakken) shows our Marigold Collection in 2011 which featured over 150 varieties. This was barely scratching the surface of what is currently available, including many newer varieties with huge flowers! This blog focuses on some of those selections of Aztec marigold (Tagetes erecta) that have large flowers that are 3" wide or bigger! Native to Mexico and Central America, this species is sometimes called African marigold (odd). Regardless, they are all strong growers, prefer decent soils and moisture and do benefit from "deadheading" (removing spent blooms). They sure pack a "colorful punch"!
Taishan Series (Ball Seed Trial Gardens, West Chicago, IL)
Taishan 'Yellow Improved' (above and below)
Taishan 'Orange Improved' (above and two below)
'Moonstruck Deep Orange' (above and two below)
'Moonsong Deep Orange' (above and two below)
'Giant Orange' (photo from T. Bakken)
'Giant Yellow' (photo from T. Bakken)
'Marvel Orange' (photo from T. Bakken)
'Marvel Gold' (photo from T. Bakken)
'Marvel Yellow' (photo from T. Bakken)
'Pineapple Crush' (photo from T. Bakken)
RBG Marigold Collection - 2011(photo from T. Bakken)