MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gold of Calendula

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I am Calendula. I am a wonderful creation.

I never fail my gardener. She spread a packet of seeds 6 years ago in the garden, and since then, I return every year. I am easy to grow, I am independent, pest resistant, tough, reliable and above all else, I am beautiful. My name comes from the Latin kalendae, which means the first day of the month; and they say it refers to my long flowering season. I bloom for so long that there are pictures of my bright yellow and orange blooms poking from under the snow.

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The gardener’s boys pluck and eat my petals. The gardener decorates dishes with my blooms. She makes facial calendula water and calendula ice cubes. When her boys have cuts, scratches and bumps, they ask not for an ointment from a pharmacy, but for the calendula solution which is made with vodka and my dried or fresh blooms. When they have sore throats, they don’t ask for the pink gooey stuff, but instead gargle with my solution.

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My gardener loves me because her mother and grandmother loved me. People in old Russia probably didn’t know such words as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, but they sure knew how to use me for treating wounds and skin problems. Before big companies started to include me as an ingredient in their skin creams, lotions, tonics, etc., ordinary people already knew how helpful I am.

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Look at me! I have the warmth of the sun preserved in my petals. I have the happiness of summer absorbed in my blooms. I have healing power waiting to be released.

I am Calendula, and I am a wonder!

P.S. My formal name is Calendula officinalis. You might know me as Pot Marigold. I grow easily in sunny locations in most types of soils. I am a perennial, but I am treated as an annual in colder regions. You can find me in pale yellow, dark yellow, orange and even orange-red colors (there is a belief that only the common deep orange-flowered variety is of medicinal value), with single or double flower heads. My leaves and petals are edible. The petals can serve as a garnish to dishes , since they contain saffron. You can use my leaves in salads, although they can be bitter. I’ve been around and served people for ages. Ancient Romans, Greeks, Arabs and Indians used me as a medicinal herb and also as a dye for their fabrics, foods and cosmetics.

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Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

29 comments:

  1. I love the post. I had this last year and loved it. Sadly our yard was torn up to put a new sewer line in and they did not come back up this year. Next year I will plant more. Just love the many uses it has.

    Willow

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  2. This one is definitely going on my "must-have" list! Beautiful pictures and enjoyable post.

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  3. Hi there! I just love calendula too, I've just planted some hardy annuals for an early crop next year for my happy hippy cut flower stall. Though we've had some pretty meaty frosts already here in the UK.
    Peace and Love.;)
    Ranners
    www.higgledtgarden.com

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  4. Gorgeous!!!
    Another flower to put on my list for next year.

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  5. My mother grew Calendula and so do I. Calendula are troopers that continue to bloom in my garden despite the cold weather. They come back every year with their bright sunny faces. I would love to hear how you make some of your Calendula potions.

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  6. I have sown some ('indian prince') for next year! Would love to know your lotion remedy. Lovely plant and post! X

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  7. Loved the mix of pictures at the end, so pretty!

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  8. Tatyana, I don't think I have ever grown the pot marigolds but will certainly look for them next spring.

    Eileen

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  9. So well said and inspiring images.

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  10. I used to have these everywhere. All self seeded, looked great until the heat of July, when many succumbed to powdery mildew sadly. They are one of the most popular companion plants in many vegetable gardens around, beautiful flower.

    I've always fancied growing a variety called 'Indian Prince', very deep colour.

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  11. That is a beautiful golden color! Thank you for sharing.

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  12. Great post!
    I didn't know calendula had so many medicinal applications. Thanks for the advice!

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  13. Wonderful post Tatyana! I knew some of the medicinal stuff, but not all by any stretch - so thanks for that and for the glorious photos. :)

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  14. Thank you all for your comments! Calendula is truly a great plant. I plant it as a companion plant, together with nasturtiums and marigolds, among vegetables to deter pests. I don't make lotions and creams myself, I leave it for specialists. I make simple calendula water (flowers + boiling water, let it stay for several hours, cool) as a facial rinse, and
    flowers+vodka for cuts, scratches, etc. For sore throat, I dilute flowers/vodka mix. It is not a recommendation, it is what I make and use personally. Calendula is still blooming now in my garden when almost everything else is gone.

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  15. Tatyana, my German mother-in-law, now 85, used to make calendula ointment for cuts and scrapes. I think it's fantastic that you do it too, and would love to here your recipe (the one with vodka). Thanks for reminding me that I must finally plant some in my garden.

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  16. I can't help but say... you are Tatyana and you are wonderful! Such a captivating post. One of my favorites!

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  17. Hi, Tatyana;
    Love this post. I've got a grandma who taught me how to use calendula as an ointment for the horses.

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  18. Calendulas are great, great, flowers. I love the way they spread around our garden and make the loveliest combinations.

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  19. Gorgeous! I love how artfully you displayed the calendula blooms. And I love all your other bouquets. But my favorite was finding your photos of Italy. Is there a more beautiful country? Possibly, but with the exception of the U.S., it's my favorite country.

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  20. All hail the calendula. Petals in ice cubes sounds great.

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  21. Tatyana, I love your post on Calendula. I didn't realize it was so versatile.
    I was just in the hospital and met the sweetest little Russian gal who took great care of me. I gave her my blog address and told her to go visit your blog and that she would enjoy it very much. She loves flowers.

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  22. Lovely photos and post! I haven't grown Calendula before, but I had a client ask me for it, and I've just ordered seeds...I can't wait to try it! I love learning about herbal remedies--it's fascinating! Look forward to reading more of your site.

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  23. I love this flower, but, have never tried to grow it! I am going to try it~Might be able to scatter a few seeds this fall~Your photos are lovely and inspiring~gail

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  24. Tatyana, For someone whose favorite color is not yellow, you sure have a lot of beautiful yellow flowers growing.:-) I love the calendula. -Jean

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  25. Thank you dear friends!
    Jean, you are SO right! I do not like yellow, but calendula is an exception. Barbara, you drink a shotglass of vodka and smell a calendula flower! Just kidding, sorry. I'll e-mail you.

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  26. The golden tones of Calendula remind me of our Swamp Sunflowers. And medicinal and long-blooming as well -- I wonder how they would do here?? :)

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  27. This is the first year I have ever grown calendula. I threw the seeds around in the spring, and wondered what happened to them. But here it is fall, and they appeared! Lovely.

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  28. What a richly beautiful post about a simply beautiful flower! And informative as well. Thank you, Tatyana ;) Jack

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