May 19, 2011

Let It Sow, Let It Sow, Let It Sow

Nigella damascena (Love-in-a-Mist) is a prolific
self-sowing annual.
Do you love the idea of drifts of jewel-box flowers in shades of blue to purple? Start with a few seeds from nigella damascena 'Miss Jekyll Blue' and just let them go, let them sow! A year later, you're likely to have a thick, mass planting of this sweet flowers.

Want proof? Take a look at the nigella in my garden in May 2010.

Nigella mixed with poppies May 2010.
The self-sown nigella area just beginning to bloom in May 2011.
Same nigella, different view
showing a Knock Out® Rose at the end.
In addition to letting this group self-sow, I collected pods and scattered seeds in other areas to see what combinations work together. While the 2010 nigella were restricted to the cottage garden, the flowers are now growing with achillea, salvia and agastache in the deer resistant garden. So far, no nibbling from deer or rabbits.

As I often do, I start taking photos before the peak bloom! I love these little flowers and the display is just beginning. Over the next week, there will be even more nigella blooming throughout my gardens.

There are other colors of nigella damascena or nigella hispanica from seed suppliers that include pink and deep rose as well as white with nearly black details. I am so tempted to try the other colors!


Too much of a good thing? It is easy to pull out any unwanted flowers. That said,  everyone needs to check regional invasive lists to make sure this flower isn't a problem for your area. To prevent the self-sowing, cut off the flowers before the seedpods dry. You can collect the seeds and sow them in autumn through early spring, or do as self-sowers do—plant the seeds in other areas at the same time the seed pods are ready to pop.

I sent nigella seeds to some of my gardening friends. I hope they'll still be friends after the nigella takes over their gardens!


Nigella with salvia (autumn sage).
Nigella with yellow achillea (yarrow)
and purple salvia 'Victoria'.
Nigella is quite photogenic!


Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

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Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel

Home, garden and travel tips by Freda Cameron

Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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