Thursday, 28 June 2018

Calendulas! - But in Grandmother’s Day They Were Called Marigolds

During the old times basic remedies from the petals have made women beautiful, but the flower now makes a fashionable inexpensive floral decoration. With the advent of homesteading and the back to simple living movement, the old time calendula has been experiencing a tremendous boom. So whether you really like it, or not, knowing about calendulas is useful knowledge not only for using it as decoration but as a helpful medicinal herb in it's own right.

In the past grandmothers had a prettier name for them in Mary’s Gold, or marigold. The quilled petals of the calendula reminded our grandparents of the likeness of Mary with her halo and ‘rays of glory’ which gives the name Marigold.

“The marigold that goes to bed with the sun, and with him rises, weeping…” - Shakespeare

In times past the flower was a favourite and was much used by housewives and the old ‘simplers' (herbalist), and to-day many are making concoctions from the garden Calendula for beauty just as they did in days of old.

Calendulas are good for cutting. One of the disadvantages about the calendula as a cut flower is the strong odour of the stems when stood in water. Every day the water should be changed, and the stems cut down just a little. If the stems are left in the water it makes the water cloudy and unpleasant. Treating the stems also helps keep the flowers to last longer. Bits of old leaves should also be cut off. Don’t pull the leaf off as that encourages the stem to ‘bleed’ or weep where it is tore. 

Calendulas have a long flowering season and the plants are strong and hardy making them an excellent cut flower, and one that should be used for decoration under artificial light as it is a showy bloom which brightens up any corner of the room.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.


  1. My calendulas are always dried for use in soapmaking, Shiralee. I see you have a Cornflower growing. I planted two punnets and a packet of seeds so I can dry the flowers to use on top of soaps. A bit of overkill perhaps :-)

  2. Nanna Chel,
    The cornflower was amongst the calendulas growing in my old lottie (I had to give up). And really you can never have enough calendulas :)