What’s Your Favorite Marigold? The People Have Spoken
According to Fleuroselect, an international organization for pot and bedding plant breeders, 2018 is the year of the marigold. As part of the organization’s campaign to inspire the public on the beauty and diversity of marigolds and to increase the sales of existing varieties, visitors to the Royal Horticultural Society flagship garden Wisley in the UK were recently asked to vote for their favorite marigold. All 148 entries had many attributes, but there could only be one People’s Choice winner. The lemon-colored ‘Alumia Vanilla Cream’ entered by Floranova/Mr. Fothergill’s/Thompson & Morgan took the top honors, revealing a preference for unconventional varieties.
Second and third place finishers were ‘Durango Bee’ (PanAmerican Seed/Thompson & Morgan) and ‘Pots of Gold’ (Thompson & Morgan). ‘Zenith Red’ (Floranova) and ‘Durango Flame’ (PanAmerican Seed) took the fourth and fifth place.
A similar marigold trial was set up at the UK’s Cotswold Wildlife Park. A panel of six professionals visited the marigold display five times in nine weeks and judged the plants on garden performance and overall appearance. The expert jury consisted of Andrew Bennett, Janice Shipp, Harriet Rycroft, Andrew Spires, Kay Shih, and Peter Freeman. The following varieties were standouts to the panel of experts:
Triploids: ‘Zenith Red’ (Floranova)
French: ‘Naughty Marietta’ (Thompson & Morgan), ‘Red Cherry’ (Mr. Fothergill’s), ‘Favourite Mix’ (Mr. Fothergill’s), ‘Konstance’ (Thompson & Morgan), ‘Super Hero Orange Flame’ (Benary)
In addition to RHS Wisley and the Cotswold Wildlife Park, Fleuroselect-fueled marigold displays also were planted in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, the Ega-Park in Erfurt, Germany, and at the Tegeasc Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland.