Nigella To The Rescue
The forecast said it would be raining for the next two days, so there would be no gardening, it was assumed. But a break in the clouds prompted an outdoor walkabout. A chance to traipse the pathways up and down and all around is never passed up. The thermometer in the vestibule said it was 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so no coat was needed. Besides, feeling the breezes blow through one’s hair is a sensation to be savored if it is not so cold that the trapper hat is needed to protect delicate ears.
Walking to the front yard to see how far the bulbs were coming along and for just a general looksee, we passed by the Fairelurie garden. This area, whose creation was written about here, has been disappointing. In Autumn, the fluffy pink muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris is the cars screeching to a halt to get a better look attraction, as shown in this photo taken October 14, 2011. But the rest of the growing seasons are not as exciting, despite constant planting and tweaking. But sometimes we can’t see our noses for our face.
Back to the here and now of late winter, down in the gravel pathway just to the right of the grey metal watering can is noticed a robust seedling of Nigella damascena, love in a mist. The opening photo shows a glamour shot of it in bloom, taken May 8, 2012. This is a plant that has sown itself all over here, so much so that it is not even considered when the shopping in your own garden, click here to learn more, commences. Duh!
The vision is for a sea of blue in the Fairelurie, initially to be provided by various perennial blue Salvias ala the Lurie garden in Chicago, punctuated with various lilies, Camassias, Astible, Verbena bonarienses, Vernonia, Seum, Amsonia, Zizia…you get the idea. The vision has not been realized. Yet. Don’t be misled by this shot from May 12, 2010. The blue Salvias have never again looked this good.
The sky is darkening again, the wind is whistling through the tall pine trees, but the birth of an idea takes precedence over all else, especially a brilliant solution to a long vexing problem. Inside we dash for a change of footwear and garden gloves. And the camera.
The digging takes place to remove the Nigella seedlings from the prostrate junipers in the center island. It is in this area that the Nigella is indeed a jumble of a jungle, among other spots around and about. Handfuls of babies are carefully lifted with the hori hori knife, being sure to get all of the long tap root.
These babies hold the promise of the sea of blue so longed for. They are spread throughout the upper Fairelurie, sticking the roots into the slit made by the knife. It matters not how close they are to the arising perennials and bulbs, for these are annuals and will be pulled out after they have flung their shiny black seeds.
The rains held off just long enough for the job to be completed. There were many good sized plants among many more tiny ones. There should be blooms to continue the show for years to come through self sowing, illustrated by this shot from May 8, 2009. This just might be the solution to the Fairelurie problem. Stay tuned for the big reveal, if there is one, in May!