One of the best known of all garden flowers: the common marigold.
Common name: English or pot marigold Botanic name: Calendula officinalis cvs
Description: Annual plant with pale green leaves, a bushy habit and single or double flowers. Tall and dwarf strains are available. Flower colours include yellow, gold, orange and bronze, as well as pastel shades.
Best climate: Most areas of Australia, except for the tropics.
Uses: flower garden mass display cut flower petals add colour to salads popular dye and herbal remedy through the ages, Marigolds repel pests such as nematodes
Good points: range of flower colours tall and dwarf forms available long flowering hardy easy to grow
Downside: Calendulas are susceptible to rust. Control methods include spraying with fungicide and removing badly affected plants.
Care: Marigolds like a sunny position in fertile, well-drained soil. Sow seed in autumn and spring for early season flowers. Water well, particularly during hot spells. Remove spent blooms to prolong the flower display.
Getting started: Seeds and seedlings are readily available at nurseries and garden centres.