"Char, I'm looking for a source for old-fashioned marigolds. Bill says the new ones don't work as well as the old ones. Thoughts?" -- Ardith
Source for Old Marigold Seeds
Hi Ardith, from what I have read marigolds have been hybridized to the point where they are not as effective as they used to be to deter bugs. I used to plant them every year to not only deter bugs but to provide long-lasting cut flowers.
I now use annual basil to line my garden beds and include pots of basil between other potted plants to deter insects.
One of the best sources for heirloom seeds is Baker Creek in Mansfield, Missouri. The seed company started to preserve heirloom and old-fashioned seeds and has quickly become a major provider of the kinds of seeds you are trying to find.
Stick with the old-fashioned varieties like tiny French marigold. The white ones were introduced a couple of decades ago and have almost no scent. They are pretty to have in the garden but don't do much to deter bugs.