Flower of the Month: October: Marigolds
This month’s flower of the month is the marigold: a compact, cheerful flower that brings thoughts of sunshine even as the weather cools. While marigolds are most commonly recognized in their bright orange hue, they also come in a variety of other bright and warm colors, including yellow, gold, and red. With all of these rich vibrant colors, it is no wonder that the marigold has come to mean passion and creativity.
Marigolds serve a greater purpose than just being decorative when used in cultural events and celebrations. For example, in Mexico, on Dia de los Muertos, garlands of marigolds adorn graves and altars. It is said that their scent and bright color will help to guide the spirits from the cemetery to the altar. And in India, yellow and orange marigolds are often found throughout Hindu weddings because they symbolize brightness and positive energy and are associated with Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. Garlands of marigolds are strung as decoration and exchanged between brides and grooms.
Marigolds are extremely hardy flowers often used in gardens not only for their bold blooms for also for their ability to repel insects thanks to their signature scent. And that scent is typically not considered a pleasing one. So how can this be overcome for the sake of using these blooms in a floral arrangement or garland? Well, thankfully, the majority of the odor is concentrated in the foliage. When the foliage is removed, marigolds can be added to centerpieces and used as a décor element without anyone catching a whiff of its unpleasant and distracting odor. Marigolds are gorgeous when strung in garlands and hung outdoors or integrated into other décor elements such as centerpieces and even wreaths. And because marigolds are so hardy, those garlands and wreaths will look nearly unchanged for up to 72 hours.
While a somewhat untraditional choice as a cut flower, marigolds, with their bright color and happy bloom, can enhance and provide texture to arrangements, garlands and decor.