Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena) - Hardy Annual
Love-in-a-mist is a popular cottage garden plant and has been grown in Britain since Elizabethan times although it has origins in the Southern Mediterranean, the Balkans and North Africa. Its Latin name, Nigella, is derived from nigellus meaning black, referring to the colour of its tiny seeds. It has delicate papery petals and frothy, fennel-like foliage.
Common name: Love-in-a-mist
When to sow: Direct sow in early Autumn (Sep) or early Spring - early Summer (Nigella dislikes root disturbance, so best results come from direct sowing)
Flowering time: Late Spring (if Autumn sown) - mid-Summer (Spring sown)
Pinch out?: No
Conditions: Full sun in well-drained, poor soil
Height: 50 cm/ 20"
Support?: Support may be needed in the form of twiggy pea sticks if in a windy site
When to pick: When petals first start to unfurl. Pick seed pods when green
Recommended varieties: Blue 'Miss Jekyll', Pink 'Persian Rose', Nigella hispanica has dark red stamens and dark blue petals
Flower meaning: Often said to represent the chains that bind people together – usually in love, but sometimes in bitterness
Vase life: 7-10 days
Conditioning: Not needed
Good for: Adding a romantic, airy feeling to a vase. Ideal for weddings. Decorative seed heads look lovely when fresh or dried in the Winter