Monday, October 20, 2014

Getting Misty again


Well, it's hardly a spectacular success this time round, but I am still claiming one cup-of-tea's worth of self-bestowed job satisfaction for this 12-month-long effort, now bursting into bloom.

Last autumn I planted some "Love-in-a-Mist" seeds which I had harvested in January from the plants which I had grown from seed the previous autumn, and which flowered in October.

Hold on. That's a bit complicated. Here's the simpler version. These flowers below are from plants which I have raised from seed which I had harvested earlier on. That's better.

The original seeds came from a Yates Seed
pack called "Persian Jewels". These come in various 

shades of white, violet, blue and pink. The interesting 
challenge for me was to see whether this year's 
crop of harvested seeds produced all the colours, or 
just one. Well, it turns out I get lots of white, a fair
 few blue, and little blobs of pink here and there. 
That will do me!

As you can see, white rules, but other colours get a look in.

The pink ones are pretty but lonely.

The "Mist" in its name is of course the whispy veil of fine,
needles of foliage around the flower heads.

However, this low angle shot reveals the plant is a little
cloud of flowers floating atop a green mist, too.

In the interest of the full picture, here's a shot taken in early
January this year, of the papery, hollow seed pods after harvest.
These split open and drop a lot of seed on the ground, but
my harvest managed to gather enough seed to fill the whole
backyard with plants, if I wanted to go mad.

The black seeds themselves are heavily ridged and hard.
I planted them last autumn in rows, and they do take a while
to come up, and the plants look like they are never going
to ever produce flowers through August and most of
September. Then in October they get a move on, and flowering
is always about now, in mid-October.
(One interesting sidelight on this plant, for bloggers at least, is that its botanical name is Nigella. Now, unless you never watch TV or cookery shows on TV, you will have heard of the British TV cook, the lovely Nigella Lawson, who has unfortunately been in the media for some very sad reasons in the last 12 months. Well, innocent old me called last year's posting on this plant, "Nigella's secret admirer" because a little insect, a hoverfly, was photobombing all my love-in-a-mist photos, so I made it both the heading and the lead-in to my blog posting. This of course led to quite a spike in (very disappointed I am sure) visitors to my flower-loving post on these flowers. So, if you want to drive traffic to your blog, which I don't actually have any real interest in doing, try to work a celebrity name into your blog title. That should do the trick!)