Nigella Jungle

May 10, 2009 023 (2)The memory of rainfall has been rekindled. Once upon a time there was ample watering of the plants from above. Fungi would sprout from sunny stones.May 8, 2009 059 (2)Moss would grow rampantly along walkways, even Scotch moss, Sagina subulata ‘Aurea’.May 12, 2009 017 (2)The regular, nearly constant sound of pitter patter on metal roofing has turned a garden into a jungle. The blue flowers of Campanula persicifolia are beaten down day after day only to upright themselves when the sun returns, usually.May 12, 2009 045 (2)Luxuriant lushness abounds. Featured above is dappled willow, Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ showing white splashed new growth.May 12, 2009 025 (2)Feathery plants like Nasella tenuissima hold droplets of moisture that sparkle like frost in the morning light.May 8, 2009 034 (2)Misty love mimics atmospheric conditions.May 8, 2009 025 (2)Maniacal self seed sowing produces mass quantities of plants too numerous to be counted.May 8, 2009 026 (2)Nigella damascena, Love in a mist, is joined in the self propagaion by lamb’s ear, Stachys byzantina in the center driveway bed.May 8, 2009 027 (2)Maybe a better name would be lamb in a mist.May 11, 2009 new 030 (2)The uncensored view from the street shows the rampant growth of the handsome brute of a rose Thorny, Rosa ‘Grootendorst Supreme’ backed by dark green Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Wells Special’ surrounded by the foliage gone wild.May 12, 2009 075 (2)So wild in fact that there are plants growing directly from the asphalt of the street. Along with the weed seeds that cannot be avoided, the desirables have decided to plant themselves in what might be considered unhospitable conditions.May 12, 2009 073 (2)Including the sky blue flowering Nigella.May 12, 2009 072 (2) When this property was purchased in 1996 for the offspring Chickenpoet and Semi to occupy while attending college, the propensity for plant growth was noticed in this soil and climate. Hardy shrubs, trees and perennials were planted to pretty it up along the front. Stachys and Nigella were among the plantings, brought from our gardens in Northeast Tennessee. They remain among the plantings to this day, with no help from the gardener. But plenty of help from the weather gods in the way of ample rainfall. And we are thankful for every drop.
One of our early posts titled creatively “Nigella” may be viewed by clicking here.

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27 Responses to Nigella Jungle

  1. Janet says:

    Good morning Frances, what a nice explosion of spring growth due to all the rain! I like how the moss is creeping in between the stones, looks great! That shot of the Grootendorst and friends looks like they are daring you to thin something! Certainly a lovely lush garden. Love the Nigella.

    Good morning Janet, thanks. The bed where Thorny resides only is entered with high top boots! HA The whole thing excepting the shrubbery gets mowed once a year. Hand weeding or pruning? Forget it.

  2. lynn says:

    Holy Moly that’s alot of Nigella..though the sea of blue will be beautiful soon! Foliage gone wild…that’s funny, Frances! Some of those are daylilies no? I love that mushroom shot!

    Hi Lynn, thanks. I used to try and keep the nigella in the back, but gave up on that long ago, it is a jungle in there. When we have extra daylilies from division they have been stuck in there too. Also asters. The black seeded Moudry pennisetum has sown throughout and the liriope has spread. It is no longer under my control. πŸ™‚

  3. Kathleen says:

    It is looking “junglesque” at your house Frances. What a nice change of pace from recent years. I sure appreciate every drop of rain we get although it is normally a much more arid climate in CO than in TN. The “mushroom growing out of the rocks” photo almost looks surreal! I have hesitated to bring Nigella onto this property. It’s still up for debate. I like everything about it except it’s “maniacal” self sowing so we’ll see. Enjoy your verdant bountiful garden!
    Oh a question. Do you move your orchids outdoors for the summer?? I *think* I remember reading that somewhere along the line??? Thanks!

    Hi Kathleen, thanks. First off, yes, the orchids come out for the summer, about two weeks after the last frost date, when the nighttime temps remain above 50 degrees. They are in shade so we also have to make sure the trees are fully leafed out to provide that. They will be brought in at the beginning of September or so. I would not be without nigella. Just pick the seedheads, which are amazingly cool looking and dry well, to prevent overpopulation. The mushroom got stepped on after the photo, as you can tell it is exactly the same color as the gravel and sometimes I am not looking down, oops.

  4. Sweet Bay says:

    It’s is funny where some plants will seed themselves, isn’t it? It must be the warmth. Love the mushroom picture. And the Campanulas — I don’t know if we can grow that one here in NC but it sure is lovely.

    Hi Sweet Bay, thanks. I would thing this Campanula would grow there. It is hardy and self seeds, although not like the Nigella. πŸ™‚

  5. Your gardens are so beautiful and lush!

    I love your Nigella, but haven’t “gotten to it” as my research on whether or not it is deer resistant hasn’t been convincing enough.

    Raining here…


    Hi Cameron, thanks. I would throw out some seeds and see what happens myself. πŸ™‚ Loved your Monet piece and look forward to the rest. Yummy!

  6. Hi Frances, glad you got some rain. I have fields of Nigella myself and love its self-sowing enthusiasm. But it does great in drought, too. I never water mine and it grows in the most unexpected places! Noogie!

    Hi Monica, thanks. We are still continuing to get nice rainfall but every sunny day I worry that the drought has come back. Nigella is most noogie-worthy. It can tolerate drought but has wild with ample rain, as have most all the plants.

  7. tina says:

    Good morning! I think all your plants simply love your spot not only because of the soil, but because of your sage care. Yours bells are looking so good! And all of it is for sure most lush.

    Good morning, Tina. These plants were growing for four years without my sage care, with the noncare of the Semi school! The weeds were so tall we were sent a letter from the city complaining that we were breaking the ordinance about such things. And in this part of TN, those types of ordinances are quite rarely cited. HA

  8. ourfriendben says:

    Frances, that Nasella tenuissima is beyond stunning. Drool!!!!! And yes, we’re grateful for the rain here too and trying not to hate it for keeping us from playing outside.

    Hi OFB, thanks. The Nasella, trying to train myself not to call it Stipa anymore, is looking better than ever. The patch by the shed was not trimmed last year after blooming and is so much nicer looking. Note to self, leave it alone! We know how precious that rain is to everything too. πŸ™‚

  9. nancybond says:

    Beautiful, as always, Frances. πŸ™‚ Everything looks lush and abundant.

    Hi Nancy, thanks. The rain has made a great deal of difference this year.

  10. Tatyana says:

    Good morning Frances! I love how everything looks fresh and healthy after the rain. Sun is good but it makes the greenery look a bit faded, don’t you think so?

    Hi Tatyana, me too. The sun makes it harder to take a sharp photo as the warm season progresses. I remember thinking last year that something was wrong with my camera, when it was the sun higher in the sky. HA

  11. Catherine says:

    I wish my nigella would grow in big clumps like that! I didn’t have as many reseed this year. I do love finding them pop up in all sorts of interesting places. My stachys hasn’t reseeded but does spread. I bought a one gallon plant years ago and just keep dividing it and spreading it around.

    Hi Catherine, thanks. The nigella is nearly weed status here with so many seedlings. I don’t know why yours is more stingy with the volunteers. Maybe you need to move to TN, the volunteer state! HA Just an attempt at humor here, don’t mind me. πŸ™‚

  12. eliz says:

    Love the nigella and the green street view! Nigella is an annual here, but I am starting some this year.

    Thanks, Elizabeth. They are annual here too but self sow hither and yon. Well, some seem to be biennial, sprouting in fall and blooming the next spring. There will be blooms from the seedlings of the current crop too. A good yield.

  13. Racquel says:

    That Nigella has interesting foliage & flower heads. All that rain has really made your garden grow fast. We’ve been getting rain again since last night. I don’t mind it at all at this time of the year when the garden is still growing. πŸ™‚

    Hi Racquel, thanks. The dried seed pods of the nigella are especially interesting too and often used in dried arrangements. The rain’s effect on the plants has been phenomenal.

  14. Brenda Kula says:

    You are such a gardener, Frances! I can’t help but think the karma you possess radiates all the way out there to the pavement!

    Oh Brenda, you say the nicest things, thanks! There is something special about this place and the effect it has on plants. πŸ™‚

  15. Les says:

    Good to see a little of the house (the setting), and what made you the homeowner, if I may ask?

    Thanks, Les. From the photo you can see the main house on the right, the garage we built after knocking down the existing house and the addition to join the two. I could reply to what made us the homeowner’s with a silly remark, but won’t. We moved back to TN when our first grandchild was born and we didn’t want to be so far away in Texas. A job transfer got us back to TN, but not as close as we wanted to the little one. We were going to live here, fix up this house and sell it while looking at property. The house next door was discovered to be for sale and the rest is history. πŸ™‚

  16. Maria Pellum says:

    Beautiful garden! If I could only be not worried about spreading non-native plants I would definitively go for Nigellas.

    Hi Maria, thanks and welcome. We appreciate your native plants approach. We grow many natives, many that were already growing on this property which is quite diverse in the flora and fauna, especially for being center city. Only bare ground is in danger from this particular plant, and there is very little of that anymore. It is so easily removed, being an annual too.:-)

  17. gittan says:

    Good morning Frances! Some rain really makes it explode! We’ve got some, not much, the last days and it seems as the plants thinks it’s enough. Nigela is a pretty girl and fits with the lambs ears I think / gittan

    Hi Gittan, good morning to you my friend. Nigella and lambs ear are good roommates in the driveway center bed. Everything in there is aggressive so they fit right in. Good for you with just enough rain to make your plants happy. πŸ™‚

  18. Silvia Salix says:

    Such a faerie tale garden! Loving the ambiance. I adore nigella too, I let it grow wherever it likes.

    Hi Silvia, thanks and so nice to see you here. I think we have the same gardening approach. πŸ™‚

  19. Liisa says:

    Beautiful blooms, Frances. Recent rains have made the garden explode here in Vermont, as well. It’s like a dose of plant steroids. I love the Nasella tenuissima and Stachys byzantina, they really light up the garden. πŸ™‚

    Hi Liisa, thanks. That is a good analogy, the rain is steroidal to the plants, just like nature intended. Both the Stachys and Nasella are used extensively here, they add so much and are so easy to spread. πŸ™‚

  20. Yes, my non-watered nigella are way smaller than your rain-fed ones, it’s true. But they’re cute short or tall!!!

    Hi Monica, short is cute too. πŸ™‚

  21. Gail says:

    Good morning. The rain has had a magical effect upon your garden…the nigella is wonderful and sparkly! It’s the best cornflower blue, one of my favorite colors. The nasalla is spectacular and I had to stop writing to run outside and catch the sun shining through mine. It is a perfect plant for backlighting. Thank you for your guidance on that beauty! It’s 46 degrees out and the sun is shining~~ you are probably already outside! Have a delicious day! gail

    Hi Gail, thanks, it is like magic, the difference from last year to this. The Nasella, I liked Stipa better, is one of the best for the backlighting. It is beginning to bloom with those silky tassel sort of thingeys that really catch the light when wet. You too enjoy the sunny day! πŸ™‚

  22. Frances after seeing your uncensored driveway island bed, the resemblance to the current state of the wild cultivated ridge top garden is amazing.

    Nigella was added last year to see if it would settle in and become a full time resident.

    Hi Christopher, soul sisters, I am telling ya! πŸ™‚ If you need any more nigella seeds, let me know.

  23. Dave says:

    It’s amazing to see how some plants can survive almost any conditions including asphalt. I think I need to plant our nigella seeds very soon. I’m getting behind, way behind on my things to do list!

    Hi Dave, it never ceases to amaze me when I see those plants in the pavement, and not just crabgrass either. Soon the seeds will be released by the pods of the nigella here, so you will be right on schedule with nature’s way. πŸ™‚

  24. Rose says:

    I’m glad to see you’ve gotten lots of needed rain; obviously, your garden has been enjoying every drop. I received some nigella seeds from a UK blogging friend this winter; I’m hoping they will like it here in middle of the US.

    Hi Rose, thanks, we are glad for it too. Your nigella should do well, they will grow anywhere. I was trying to remember if I had them in my PA garden and can’t remember. πŸ™‚

  25. Oh, this is delightful, Frances, but i’m consumed with envy yet again. I won’t have nigella in bloom until August, and I had to seed some in this year, being as how it did finally die out or get weeded out. It’s not quite so enthusiastic here as it is for you. But then again, I will have poppy profusions, as we know…;-)

  26. Kim says:

    Beautiful photos, as always, Frances. I love the “cultivated ones” in the asphalt. Now that’s what I call a hardy plant!

    Hi Kim, thanks so much. It must have something to do with all the rain, all those in the pavement. Usually it is just crabgrass. πŸ™‚

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