Tag Archives: Calendula

“When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden.” — Minnie Aumonier


A June morning in the dewy garden, with the birds singing, is a delight to the senses and the soul. I was up before the bees today. I’m no great photographer, but the garden calls, so I must go forth. My talented daughter Elise is not always here to take the images for me.

Breadseed poppies from seed I got at Jefferson’s beloved Monticello years ago in their gift shop after touring the wonderful gardens there.

Poppies and more poppies

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” — Alfred Austin

Evening Primrose bloom at dusk, attract hummingbird moths, and fade with the day.  These flowers are the delight of children. My five-year-old nephew was so excited by the magical unfolding that he ‘helped’ the blossoms open even faster.

Evening primrose in the dew

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.”— Gertrude Jekyll

Nicotiana, or flowering tobacco as it is also called, has come back for me year after year. This white variety is an old heirloom. Lovely in the morning and evening, it tightens its petals in the heat of day.  Pictured below blooming against a backdrop of larkspur, also an old friend that reappears every year.

Nicotiana with larkspur

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”— Marcus Tullius Cicero

The purity of light this morning was exquisite. Below, a multicolored zinnia in the foreground. This flower is one of many varieties in beds created for bees and butterflies.

“I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.” — David Hobson

Zinnia in June Garden

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.” — Claude Monet

“Garden as though you will live forever.” — William Kent

Phacelia with annual baby's breath

Poppies, annual baby’s breath, and phacelia in early morning garden.

“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.”— Rudyard Kipling (No. They most certainly are not.)

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” — May Sarton

“The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.”— Gertrude Jekyll

Queen Anne’s Lace and larkspur below.

Queen Anne's Lace and larkspur

“There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.” — Alfred Austin

“I like gardening — it’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself.”  — Alice Sebold (Exactly!)

Larkspur and calendula

(Larkspur and calendula)

June in my Garden in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia


Flower Bed along the road 8Husband Dennis was out with his camera this morning and captured some lovely shots of the flower bed along the edge of the yard that borders the road. We’ve had some sumptuously gorgeous days lately with low humidity and blue skies that reach to heaven. This time of year it’s very hard to be in when the garden beckons, and bird calls float through the open windows.

To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat. ~Beverly Nichols

A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. ~Walt Whitman

How can one help shivering with delight when one’s hot fingers close around the stem of a live flower, cool from the shade and stiff with newborn vigor! ~Colette

Flower bed along road 6-16-2014

Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock. ~Henry Ward Beecher, Star Papers: A Discourse of Flowers
Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed. ~Walt Whitman

Flowers really do intoxicate me. ~Vita Sackville-West

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. ~Gerard de Nerval

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet

larkspur and shirley poppies

A flower’s appeal is in its contradictions — so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect. ~Terri Guillemets

Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair… ~Susan Polis Shutz

The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days. ~Robert Leighton

Flower bed along road 4

Image of: Roses, larkspur, Shirley poppies, calendula, asparagus, sage, lamb’s ears, lilies, hollyhocks, coral bells, California poppies, lavender, and numerous other herbs and flowers.

“Calendula strengthens the heart exceedingly.” ~Nicholas Culpepper


CalendulaCalendula is also among the most important remedies for wounds. The plant is also said to cure bites, stomach ailments, and infections. Calendula, or pot marigold, is the marigold referred to historically. Also called English marigold, this plant has been grown since the Middle Ages. We’ve grown calendula for years. The eye-catching flowers come back by self-sowing in among our other herbs and flowers. I love them, and added a new variety this past year. We have both the traditional, single colored calendula, and the improved kind with contrasting centers.

CalendulaPot marigold is mostly used as a topical remedy. It has been said that a calendula flower, rubbed on the affected part, is a remedy for the pain and swelling caused by the sting of a wasp or bee. A lotion made from the flowers is useful for sprains and wounds, and a water distilled from them is good for inflamed eyes. It’s just plain good for the skin. And pretty. (Calendula in our garden)

“Here’s flowers for you; Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram; The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun, And with him rises weeping…” ~William Shakespeare

About Samhain or ‘All Hallows’


Night sky-moonSamhain (pronounced sow-en or sam-hayne) is from the Celtic ‘Samhuinn’ which means summer’s end. For Wiccans and Pagans, it’s a Sabbat to honor their ancestors. Samhain is believed to be the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, and séances often held. 

Since approximately the 8th century, the Catholic Church declared November 1st as All Saints Day which became the festival to honor any saint who didn’t already have their own day. The mass conducted on All Saints’ was called Allhallowmas – the mass of all those who are hallowed. The night before became known as All Hallows Eve, and eventually evolved into Halloween.

fuzzy sage with blue larkspur

Some of the herbs associated with Samhain from Morbid Outlook (Ask Witch Hazel): “Calendula (comfort, health, psychic dreams and protection), mandrake (money, love, sexual potency and fertility, protection and exorcism), mugwort (healing, protection, psychic powers, and strength), oak leaves (prosperity, protection, health and fertility), rue (health and comfort), sage (aiding memory, wisdom, protection and purification), and wormwood (divination, love and protection).” (sage and larkspur in our garden)

From The Scot’s Herbal by Tess Darwin: “All Hallows (traditionally the first day of the Celtic year) was a curious mixture of Pagan and Christian belief. In a fertility ritual enacted at Aberdeenshire until the last century (19th) farmers gathered the year’s first seaweed crop on New Year’s morning and placed a small heap at the door of each farm building, then shared the rest between the fields.”

Filbert Orchard 01She goes on to say, “Hazelnuts were used in divination rites on Samhain (Hallowe’en). The  feelings of one’s sweetheart could be ascertained by asking questions of the nut, then throwing it into the flames and watching the way it burned or jumped to reveal the answer.”  

(Grove of hazelnuts)

“Hazel was also sacred to witches, who sometimes used it for broom sticks, because it symbolized female wisdom. On the other hand, finding two nuts naturally joined together, called St. John’s nut, was a good omen and it could be thrown at witches, presumably to protect oneself against the evil eye.”

elderberries“Elder, often known as boun-tree in Scotland, and second only to rowan for protection against witchcraft and evil spells, was often planted at the back of a house and rowan at the front. A cross made of elder was hung on stables and byres to protect the animals within.” (Elderberries)

Extra safety precautions were taken during Samhain because of the thinning veil between the natural and supernatural worlds and fear of evil powers or enchantments slipping through. Prudent persons used every sacred tree and herb available for protection.

Also interesting from The Scot’s Herbal: “Hallowe’en rituals such as apple-dooking and throwing apple peel, removed in one long strip, over a girl’s shoulder to reveal the initial of her future husband, are the survival of Celtic Samhain rites of divination and prophecy.”

Finding Gold in Herbal Lore–Calendula


QuantcastIn late May–June, calendula flowers wink cheerily in the herb and perennial border that stretches along the road like a colorful island in  a grassy sea.  The plants prefer cooler sunny weather so fall off during the hot summer months to re-bloom again n autumn. They also reseed freely.

These Calendula flowers are special with dark eyes dotting the centers of orange, saffron, yellow, and apricot flowers. A wealth of lore is invested in these simple plants, also known as “pot marigold,” and the blooms Shakespeare had in mind when he spoke of marigolds. The Old English called them golds and ruddes. One interesting bit of lore is that calendula was used to keep a lover faithful. All one had to do was to dig up some soil where their lover had walked, and use that soil for planting calendula. From that day forward the lover would forever by faithful.

From Discovery Health:

“Calendula has a long history of use as a wound-healing and skin-soothing botanical. This lovely marigold-like flower (although called pot marigold, it is not a true marigold) is considered a vulnerary agent, a substance that promotes healing. Calendula also has anti-inflammatory and weak antimicrobial activity. It is most often used topically for lacerations, abrasions, and skin infections; less commonly, it is used internally to heal inflamed & infected mucous membranes.”

Interesting and informative site that sells Calendula Cream.

From The Tree of Knowledge: Add calendula to baths to win respect and admiration. Scatter under your bed for protection & prophetic dreams. Carry for justice in court.

An ancient herbalist states: “Golde is bitter in savour. Fayr and yellow in his flowur. Ye golde flowur is good to sene. It makyth ye syth bryth and clene.”

“It is said, only to look on marigolds will draw evil humours out of the head and strengthen the eyesight. The petals may also be ingested in a conserve of sugar to be taken during times of plague and pestilence, or dried and added to broths. And if you’ve been robbed, marigold will give you a vision of the thief. But it must be taken “only when the moon is in the sign of the Virgin and not when Jupiter is in the ascendant, for then the herb loses its virtue. And the gatherer, who must be out of deadly sin, must say three Pater Nosters and three Aves.”

***Royalty free images