Click to enlargeThis week's Illustration Friday theme is STRONG. Marigold (Calendula) flowers have a strong colour and scent. I've used some real petals here on this collage of coloured pencil and ink drawings. If you enlarge the pic you can hopefully read that the flowers were being used for hair colourant in the16th century. I wondered if they were still used today so googled and discovered modern day recipes for natural hair colourants here ! Let me know if you try any of these!
Marigold flowers were also used to dye cloth and are still cultivated as an eco-friendly alternative to chemicals to dye textiles today. According to J Parkinson in 1629 they were good to be used in 'possets, broths and drinkes as a comforter of the heart and spririt'. This plant attracts hoverflies which eat aphids and is thererfore a good companion plant with tomatoes and cabbages. If you have skin problems calendula ointment should help - it was used to heal wounds in World War I. You can eat the orange or yellow petals sprinked on a salad or stick them on your illustrations, like me! And if that's not enough information you can find out more about this extremely versatile, natural medicine plant here