October - The Month of Mary's Gold

Each month has a flower that symbolizes the month of somebody's birth. Floral lore tells us that these characteristics may be "inherited" by whomever is born in that certain month.

October's flower is the Marigold or Calendula

Its floral meaning is associated with winning grace, protection, comfort and healing.In ancient times, garlands of marigolds protected homes from evil by being strung at doorsteps. 

Calendulas grew their name from blooming at the beginning of each month, hence the Latin "calends" and the English "calendar." The calendula means "throughout the months." This pretty and practical flower is used by many gardeners as an insect repellent and by cooks as a spicy seasoning or coloring for food.

Marigolds were referred to as "Mary's Gold" by early Christians. These golden October flowers were placed on altars to Mary in place of golden coins, is considered a sacred flower by many different cultures around the world. In England, the marigold is used for divination of love. Because they are associated with the Virgin Mary, they were considered good luck and protection from evil; conversely, their meaning in the language of flowers is grief and sorrow, but the October birth month flower also means “I will comfort your grieving heart”

Today in Mexico, the marigold is the flower for the Day of the Dead. Mexicans decorate graves and cemeteries with marigolds and use the petals to make a pathway from the grave of loved ones back to the deceased’s old home. It is said that the pungent scent and color of the October flower attract the spirits of the dead and leads them back home.

In India, marigolds are sacred to the Hindus and are used widely in Indian weddings and festivals; they are commonly made into garlands. When paired with poppies, they are supposed to mean “I will soothe your grief”. The October flower of the month is also used in Muslim ceremonies.

Marigolds are hardy, annual plants and are great  for cheering up any garden. They make a brilliant companion plant for many vegetables and make a regular appearance in our family of potted colour annuals.

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