Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mexican Mint Marigold

The most eye-catching fall color in our garden comes from the deep yellow flowers of 
Mexican Mint Marigold.  
This perennial herb is cut to the ground in late winter, puts out vigorous shoots in the spring, and bursts into bloom in the late fall.


In Mexico these blossoms are known as flores del muerto because they are such a popular decoration for altars and graves on November 1st, the Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebration.

Bumble bees and honey bees love these little golden flowers.
They are very easy to grow in the ground or in pots.  


Native to the new world, Mexican Mint Marigold (Tagetes lucida) has a long history of medicinal use as well as a seasoning for food.  The leaves smell amazing - like a very bright tarragon.  It's sometimes called Texas tarragon.


This is one of our newer roses, Republic of Texas, planted last spring and just starting to put on a show.  It's another pioneer rose from the Antique Rose Emporium.  It will stay small at two or three feet, so I tucked it into the raised bed along the pool retaining wall. 


This is another rose that arrived at the same time, Skyrocket, a hybrid musk climber. I forgot to take a close-up photo, but it's flowers are a pinky-red color. 
I picked it because it is supposed to a vigorous climber (10-12 feet), and I want to train it to wrap itself around our mostly dead bumelia tree.  A mostly dead tree should make a fine support for roses and birdhouses - we'll see how that goes.
It's very thorny and so got a good grip on the bark as soon as it could reach the tree, but I added a temporary twine support to see it through the winter weather. 


I've been trying to finish this corner garden before the winter rains.
I used stone around the old tree to make easy footing for rose care and bird feeder refills, etc. 
I also used stone and garden fabric along the sidewalk that borders the seawall.
This is where last springs wild wave action washed out mulch and sticks and soil, leaving so many roots exposed.


These new rocks and stones are bigger, so fingers crossed.  The stump is very heavy, but I think any really big waves may roll it right over the plants...hmm. Unfortunately we may be tested this weekend before I can finish! There are heavy rains in the forecast.


Well, we certainly need the rain. Maybe it will be a gentle steady downpour!

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