Today’s bouquet comes from my “vegetable” garden, where tulips, clematis, cleome, marigolds, zinnias, sunflowers, and four-o’clocks all live happily among the lettuce, spinach, beans, cucumbers, basil, and tomatoes! I finally have enough ‘Fruit Smoothie’ Zinnias to feel comfortable picking some, and the long-stemmed ‘Jaguar’ Marigolds seemed to be asking to be put in a vase! Of course I had to use some Goldenrod as a filler! ‘Fruit Smoothie’ Zinnias are a nice mix of long-lasting orange, pink, lavender, and yellow flowers. They mature to a semi-double to double form, averaging three inches across. In my vegetable garden, they grow between three and four feet high. Direct sowed into warm soil, they germinated after five days and produced their first blooms seven weeks later. (I sowed mine very late this year–July 4th!) I frequently see hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies visit ‘Fruit Smoothie.’
They grow in a fairly upright habit, but will branch out well once they’ve started to bloom. I imagine if I pinched them back, I would get fuller, shorter plants, but I like the long stems for picking. They don’t seem to mind cool fall weather, and will bloom profusely until our first frost. Though I often let the seed heads fall into the garden, I’ve never seen them self-sow to come back in successive years. My ‘Fruit Smoothie’ mix seems heavy on the orange flowers and lacks any yellow, but at least I have some lovely yellow marigolds to mix with them!I direct sowed French Marigold ‘Jaguar’ along the edges of the vegetable patch in early July, and they began blooming much sooner than I expected, after only five weeks! Though billed as a dwarf marigold with an expected height of about a foot, most of mine have reached eighteen inches, perhaps because of their crowded conditions among the tomatoes! They have a more open habit than many other mounding marigolds, which makes them great for cutting! The flowers are a nice clear yellow with some cherry-red details near the center. They range from one to two inches wide. This is my first experience with them; I would choose them again.(Off topic and not in a vase, but is this not just the most gorgeous ‘Marbles Mix’ Four-O’Clock, blooming next to the marigolds in the cool morning air? I LOVE the raspberry striations on the rich yellow background.):I am linking with Cathy’s weekly party at Rambling in the Garden. She is also featuring flowers from her vegetable garden in a vase this Monday; why not click the link to see how she did it?