Friday, February 27, 2009


Another new annual for me this year will be Bunny Tail grass aka Lagurus ovatus. Again, I love the common name, very descriptive and charming.

This grass forms low growing (under 24-inch) , rounded clumps. It self seeds but is not invasive. The flowers produced July through September are remarkably like the white tails of little rabbits. This is a hardy annual so sow outdoors about 3 weeks before last average frost date or in late summer. Indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost.

I think this will make a very charming and unusual addition to my perennial borders. Sharon at Garden Web plants Bunny Tails as fillers in pots. See her lovely photo here.

Photo left from the University of Illinois extension. They advise planting in full sun, drought tolerant. Roots rot in damp soil.

Like my previous post on Love in a Mist, Bunny Tail flowers are very useful in fall and winter dried arrangements. Crafters take note, these would be so cute on wreaths.

Photo right from Chiltern Seeds. Chiltern has a dwarf form growing only 8-inches tall. It would be perfect for the front of a sunny border. If I hadn't already bought the taller variety, I'd try this one.

Here is a seed packet from Botanical Interests. They say "Fun for kids, wonderful for flower arrangements. Adds a touch of whimsy and texture to the garden. Dried foliage is attractive in winter. Winner of the Quality Mark Award from Fleuroselect in 1993.

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.