With a striking combination of delicate pastel orange blooms, each petal having a bronze underside, Calendula ‘Orange Flash’ is definitely a variety to create a stunning visual display. These easy to grow, hardy cottage garden favourites will create a stunning display in the summer months, especially if grown in large drifts. Height: 45cm (18″). Spread 20cm (8″)
Direct sow calendula seeds outdoors where they are to grow from April to May. Choose a position in full sun on well drained soil which has been raked to a fine tilth. Sow seeds thinly, at a depth of 1cm (1/2″) in drills spaced 30cm (12″) apart and cover seed with its own depth of soil to exclude light. Water the ground regularly, especially during dry periods. Germination usually takes 5-10 days. When calendula seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them out to 30cm (12″) apart.
Alternatively, sow indoors from March to April at a temperature of 18-23C (65-73F). When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant and grow them on in cooler conditions until large enough to plant outdoors. For winter or early spring flowering, sow calendula in late summer or early autumn and grow plants on in a cool greenhouse or conservatory.
Water regularly until plants are fully established. Deadhead faded calendula flowers to encourage more blooms to be produced and prevent them from self seeding. Culinary note: Calendula flowers are edible. The petals have been used as a substitute for saffron, and they make a bright and zesty addition to salads.