Friday, February 27, 2009

Love in a mist


I decided to post about some of the new plants I plan to add to my garden this year. By new I mean new for me. Hope anyone who has grown these plants will leave a comment with any tips you might have.

(Image at left from Thompson-Morgan Seeds)

This post will be about the annual Love in a Mist which also goes by the much less romantic name Nigella damascena. Isn't Love in a Mist a romantic name. So many of the old English names are wonderfully descriptive. Names like Love In A Mist, Bleeding Heart, Johnny Jump Up, Morning Glory, Sweet William. They usually describe the plant's best features. The botanical name Nigella means 'black seed'. (How very picturesque are botanical names:(

Anyway my research tells me this aptly named flower lends an airy gracefulness to the garden. It produces misty pastel blooms surrounded by a web of thready bracts. The blooms age into interesting seed pods good for winter arrangements. Direct sow in a sunny spot where the plants will grow because they resent transplanting. They are drought tolerant which is an excellent recommendation. Don't plant them in an area that stays damp. Since future generations self sow I should continue to enjoy these for years. Love in a Mist does not like the heat of late summer and will probably stop blooming sometime in late July.

(Photo courtesy the British Botanical Gardens)



Tina at IN THE GARDEN was kind enough to share seeds with me. (Thank you Tina.) She says Love in a Mist is a favorite of hers and very easy to grow from seed. Click on the link to view seedlings in Tina's garden. This is a hardy annual which may sprout from self sown seed in late summer or early fall. The young plants tolerate the winter conditions and have a head start the following spring.

If you need a little more enabling, please take a look at this photo from



This photo of a seed packet shows the various colors.

I'm really looking forward to photographing these blooms. They have such an ethereal appearance.

Please let me know if you've grown these. I'd love to hear anything you have to say about them.

45 comments:

Darla said...

These are a first for me too. Will be curious to watch yours grow and bloom!

Phillip said...

I planted some seeds two years ago at Michael's salon - like you mentioned, in the fall and they came up in the spring. They were beautiful and the blooms lasted for a long period. I've been meaning to sow more. They are hard to incorporate with other plants though. I think they might be better suited for a meadow or a wild open area. I think you will love them.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

I've been hearing about these only since blogging here w/all of you:) They sound (and look) lovely and easy to care for, and of course, what gardener doesn't hope for that? Thanks for reminding me. I've got some seeds going, and lots more not started...and I forgot to add this. I will now! Hope yours do well Marnie!!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I've grown love in a mist for several season, directly sown into the flower beds. They are truly great flowers and their seed heads are pretty cool, too (bulbous and striped). Mine reseed themselves and their foliage is evergreen, which is pretty cool. Our snow all melted and there is their delicate leaves. They came up in fall and hopefully will flower in spring. I sometimes get a second bloom in late summer from the seeds of early summer.

I also like the plant "love lies bleeding" even if its name isn't romantic (actually, that's a plus for me!).

tina said...

I was trying to remember if I had sent you some of these seeds. I love this! I had a very experienced gardener come here last June and she had no idea what it was. Should've seen her grab some seed heads. Cracks me up. Mine are all up and growing, albeit slowly since they are under leaves. No matter, they do well and make a nice mat. They disappear in July, or at least dry up and that is when I pull mine. I let them mingle at the feet of cannas and in a bed in the veggie garden. I hope you love them. I think they would look good with anything but since they do set so much seed, they form a nice mat so be sure to plant them where they will not smother something else and can shine on their own or with something larger. Direct sow them now or next month. I wouldn't bother starting them inside. Easy in the garden.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

I had these on my wish list, then couldn't verify whether they are deer resistant -- now, I've found reference that they are. If it's not too late to sow them here, then I may still get some.

Thanks!
Cameron

Zach said...

I have never grown Love in a mist, but they have always caught my fancy. Let me know how they do forhttp://annual-plants.suite101.com/article.cfm/loveinamist_nigella_damascena_plant_profile you!

Susie said...

Hey Marnie, I've not grown these either. The only thing I know about them is they don't perform in our heat here. At the nursery we sell them in the fall and early spring. In your zone they should do well. I look forward to seeing their progress.

Sherri said...

Good luck with your Love-in-a-Mist! I haven't grown that plant, but I've seen it in other peoples gardens and I saw it growing at Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. It looked lovely!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Darla, I'm excited about them. For too many years I've relied almost completely on perennials. This year I'm using many more annuals.

Hi Phillip, mixing them into the garden is what concerned me too. I'm going to try Nielsl Ploughmann's method of putting clumps here and there to see what works best.

Hi Jan, thank you. We will both be experimenting this year. I've done some researching and many people agree Love in a mist deserves to be used in more gardens. It's a carefree and beautiful plant.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Monica, since yours sprouts in the fall, your blooms will be much earlier. I don't know if fall seedlings will survive the harsh IL winters. We will see next spring. Thanks for your tips and encouragement.

Hi Tina, many thanks for sharing your seed. I'm going to experiment with locations and combinations. In front of my peonies, with some other annuals, maybe around some roses. After I grow them I'll know better where to plant them next year.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cameron, this may be something that would do better if seeded in autumn in your area. Maybe not, it's worth a try both ways. I know that deer are a problem for you so it's good news these aren't one of their favorites. Good luck.

Hi Zach, thanks for the link. I will let you know. Hopefully you will be seeing photos later this summer.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Susie, I've heard the same thing, they don't like heat. I'm worried that it will be quite hot here in July when they bloom. We will see.

Sherri, thank you for letting me know. The ones you saw sound pretty.

Marnie

walk2write said...

The name implies that they would do well where humidity reigns but, like you said, probably can't stand the heat (in FL). I guess I'll just have to enjoy your pictures when they bloom. Good luck with them, Marnie!

Tatyana said...

Marnie, I am glad you left a comment on my blog that lead me to your blog! Thanks for such a good description of the Love in a Mist. I like the draught tolerant plants, plus it self seeds. Sounds like a good candidate for my garden. Thanks!

Cosmo said...

Hi, Marnie--I love 'em but have had mixed results--they got really leggy the last time I planted them, so maybe I didn't give them enough sun. I can't wait to see how yours turn out.

flowergardengirl said...

They are so pretty and I loved Neils picture of them. I will have to find some in the fall.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Walk2write, unless they would bloom very early I thin you may be right. Too hot.

Hi Tatyana, I agree, drought tolerance is very important. Did I mention I just love the shepherd pup sniffing the poppies.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cosmo, that's good to know. I will be sure to put them in a very sunny spot.

Hi Anna, I agree, fall planting would work well for you.

Marnie

ramblingwoods.com said...

Those are really beautiful Marnie..

Bren said...

I have never grown the Love-in-a-mist but I am going to try this yea after this post. THank you for sharing. I love your blog!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Marnie, if love in a mist survives the winter for me here in MI, it will for you, too. I took a photo of its leaves and posted it on my blog just for you! (Well, and because I think it's just so cute!!)

Gail said...

You are going to love them! They return again and again....the evergreen seedling is a nice surprise on a winter day! The seed pod id pretty neat looking, too. Easy to collect and move about.

Gail

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi RamblingWoods, aren't they different. I love the colors.

Hi Bren. We will both experiment and see how we like them.

Monica thank you. Who would have thunk it could stay green or even alive thru our winters. This is good news because sowing in the fall will give them a headstart for earlier blooms.

Hi Gail, thank you for the info. There haven't been too many people that actually grow them leave comments. They have been a well kept secret.

Marnie

Kathleen said...

Hi Marnie. Nice choice. I used to grow love in a mist. It bloomed all summer for me (even in the heat of August) and like everyone says, reseeds prolificly so that you never worry about not having it again. I don't have it in my current garden but I'm sure you'll have no problem getting it to grow. Be sure and post photos when it does bloom...
Oh the seed pods are great. I used to make dried flower arrangements too and used them all the time for that.

RainGardener said...

Hi Marnie, Thanks for stopping by and leading me here. Well, I don't do well with seeds but those are just wonderful. I think since I did sucker and buy more seeds to try again I would like to try these too. Especially if they reseed. Your pictures are great - you sure have a lot of different kinds of colorful birds. Love that!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I grew Love in a Mist, I think it was 'Miss Jekyll,' in a container with a tomato and also in the grounds. It was a pretty thing, but didn't reseed for me. The seed pods are almost as fun as the flowers.

sweet bay said...

Marnie I've grown these and I love them. When they bloom they have this wonderful airiness about them that isn't like anything else.

TC said...

You'll love love-in-a-mist Marnie! We grow it and save seeds each year. I have some that's been comin up through gravel for several years now.

Sandra said...

Your seed packets got me all excited for Spring! I love growing plants and flowers from seed. Thanks for visiting my site.

Pouty Lips said...

It sounds like they might do well in a desert. I will have to check them out and see.

BeadedTail said...

Those are new to me but look beautiful! I can't wait to see how the turn out for you!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
We've never grown Nigella, but have thought about it, and maybe this year I'll get a packet, because I have some dry spots where they'd probably do well. After reading your post and comments, I think they'd make an excellent companion to Cosmos Sulphureus 'Bright Lights,' which also loves full sun and dry, poor areas to grow. You might want to give that some thought! I am ... :-)

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that Cosmos is a great self-seeder too and the oranges and yellows would look great with those other colors!

troutbirder said...

Mine were blue. They were scattered thoughout the perenial garden when we bought the house. They reseeded themselves year after year. I like them a lot not even knowing what they were for years. Then we moved.

Rose said...

I first saw these on Cheryl at My Wildlife Sanctuary's site, and she was kind enough to send some seed to me. So this will be my first year of planting them, too, Marnie. It will be interesting to see how ours fare.

Thanks for your kind concern regarding my father; it's hard to see our parents grow older, isn't it?

I'm catching up on blog reading and left a comment on your last post, too.

oldcrow61 said...

I've never grown these, they look lovely. Must keep this in mind.

Rhonda said...

i have been thinking about growing these for some time now and after a visit to Neils blog (thanks to your link) I do believe this year I will do just that. thanks for sharing.

marmee said...

never heard of these but they almost look upside down like the back of them are showing. love the name of this one and the others mentioned.

Balisha said...

Hi Marnie,
Very nice post about a flower I knew very little about. You make us all want to go out and buy some seeds.

ChrisND said...

I have a few of these that come up in our southern wall. The seed pods are a very interesting feature. I can't say too much about growing them as I don't know how they got there (probably a wild flower type mix).

I do know that it does seem to self sow fine here, but hasn't really multiplied. Maybe I should sow a few more seeds - I think a nice stand of them would look better than hidden gems.

Connie said...

I love Love-in-a-Mist! It is a fantastic self sower and makes everything around it look good, too.
Here is a link to a post I did in 2007.
http://rosecottagegarden.blogspot.com/2007/06/love-in-mist.html

Connie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raquel at Cool Garden Things said...

I've had some success with love in the mist. I think that ideally it does best once it has begun to self-seed(so skip the Preen).Try combining it with roses, this is a lovely combo...

Sue said...

I don't always have nigella reseed, but I had some I transplanted from a friend's garden the first week of June bloom last year, as did the ones I grew from seed. I was so excited about that, and hope I have new plants come up. I don't think any did in the fall, though.

I hope yours do well. Also, I found them hard ti photograph because the light bounced off of them or something.