Hello Fellow Readers,
Over the weekend I attended a celebration of the life of Lori from Phillipsburg NJ whom I never personally met. Her partner, Drew, is a writing workshop buddy and kind encourager of my book underway titled The Lesson of the Leaf. Through Drew, I feel as though had the joy of knowing Lori, an avid gardener, and rescuer of dogs in need. It’s only fitting that Drew and Lori’s daughters gave seed packets of Forget-Me-Nots to friends and family.
Myosotis sylvatica is an annual which means the plants only live one growing season. The dainty blue flowers with sunny yellow centers rise above a foot or two of feathery blue-green foliage. They come in pink and white as well and are prolific self-seeders. Their seeds can remain viable for as many as thirty years waiting for the perfect time to show their little faces. They’re not fussy though and easy to grow so most seeds won’t wait that long. In fact, some say they are too ambitious and soon you’ll have them everywhere. But how can you have too much of a beautiful thing?
You can sow the annual seeds directly in the garden after the danger of spring frost, mid-May here. They’ll sprout in ten to fifteen days. Once they grow to three to four inches, thin them out so the plants are spaced about a foot apart. Some folks simply weed out the extras, but why not transplant them to another garden or along the wood line where they’ll love to spread. Forget-Me-Nots like moist soil and prefer part shade, though they don’t mind full sun if kept moist.
I learned there are biennial or short-lived perennial versions too such as Myosotis sylvatica ‘Victoria Blue’ hardy in zones 3 to 9. Myosotis alpestris are the true perennial Forget-Me-Nots, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. Not only do they create a carpet of happiness in the spring Bambi won’t eat them. You can though. The flowers are edible and delightful in a salad. Some use them to decorate cupcakes.
Removing the spent flowers will encourage further blooming. I drop the dry flower heads to the ground to encourage new plants each year. That way you’ll be sure to have them in your garden forevermore. Just like a love that never ends. Garden Dilemmas? AskMaryStone@gmail.com