Make it a year for marigolds!

These glorious plants will bring colourful beauty to your garden.

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Did you know 2018 is the Year of the Marigold? It’s part of an international campaign that takes place every year to help boost different plant and seed sales – this year it’s the turn of the lovely, humble marigold. And yet, some of the glorious varieties available to grow these days look anything but humble! See below for some real stunners to add a fabulous addition to your garden.

Both types we’re familiar with – African and French marigolds – can be sown now indoors, with a bit of gentle heat to get them going. Sow the dainty, flaky seed batons finely on good, lightly moist seed compost, and then cover up with a thin layer of more compost. Kept at around 15-20C, germination should take between a week and two weeks, and once large enough to handle you can prick them out, transplant them and grow them on in separate pots. Plant them out in your best patio pots in a sunny spot at the end of May, for all to see their colourful beauty. You can even sow them directly outside from around April.

Many seed companies and garden centres also offer ready-grown plug plants, so for those with other, more pressing garden jobs to be getting on with, it’s is a nice, simple and easy way to bring beautiful summer container bedding to your garden.