Love in a mist, also referred to as Nigellas, are a classic cottage garden flower. This flower is a favourite for filling in any gaps in flower borders. They are extremely easy to grow with low maintenance required. For many years ‘Miss Jekyll’ was the only variety available which is a beautiful sky blue colour. This is still extremely popular, but there are also other varieties available such as ‘Allsorts’.
Even though these flowers are not particularly scented, they make a stunning cut flower in an arrangement but also dry very well. Once cut they normally last for around 7 to 10 days, making your arrangement look brighter for longer.
When to Sow
The seeds can be sown any time from March to September. Between April and August they can be sown directly into the garden soil. However, if sowing at any other time, you need to start sowing undercover. Their normal flowering period is July to September with flowers lasting for about 8 weeks. If you want earlier flowers, you can sow in the autumn. However, they will need to be grown in a cold frame or something similar, before planting out in the border.
Love in a mist is best grown with very good exposure to the sun, and it is best to plant in either south-facing or west-facing sites. The soil needs to be well-drained too.
If you are sowing the seed directly into garden soil, you will need a relatively fine consistency. This makes it easier for shoots to push out into the light. When planting, be careful not to overcrowd, as the plants will compete for food, water and light. Sow your seeds thinly. Thin your plants out once they are about 2 to 3cm (1 inch) tall, leaving 10cm (4 inches) between them to prevent overcrowding. With Love-in-a-mist, the more space you give them, the longer they will continue ti bloom. Thinning out again after 6 weeks is probably a good idea. Aim to have the plants about 6 inches apart.
They are a fairly hardy flower, which is why they require low maintenance. However, if you have planted them in a particularly windy location, it is best to support the stems with a cane. To maximise the flowering feed with Gro-Sure All Purpose Plant Food and remember to dead- head regularly.