Marigold "Queen Sophia"
Voted one of the top All-America selections of all time. Gold, russet, and mahogany double blooms edged with gold. The very showy flowers are borne in profusion on strong, healthy, dwarf plants to 2', with vibrant green, feathery foliage. A lot of marigolds leave me cold, but with this one, I can really see what the fuss is about--it is a great plant for so many uses. Beautiful in the landscape, in vegetable gardens as a companion plant (I put it at the ends of the rows), or as long-lasting cut flowers. You can start it early in pots indoors, or you can do what I do and just direct-sow it when you plant beans and squash.