Forget-me-nots! Oh, the forget-me-nots! Spring brings them to us. Like a Monet painting, the sky is a mirror of blue upon the ground. Broad swaths of heavenly blue grace the landscape of Tasha’s gardens and frame the buds and blossoms of flowering crabs and lilacs, soft shades of pinks and lavender, white, too. Alongside the paths, the ground is thick with violets, and Quaker Ladies lend a softer hue of blue to the marshy open areas of the wildflower garden.
Such a generous and happy spirit is the forget-me-not; a biennial, it seeds freely in anticipation of the next year’s bloom. “Once you’ve got them, Tasha told me, “you will keep them.” And, of course, she knew what she was talking about. Forget-me-nots are easy to grow and they are beautiful. They bloom for about a month in six to twelve inch tall stalks, sometimes white or pink scattered within the blue. The flowers are small and collect in clusters atop the stalks and there are lots of them.
Forget-me-nots are tough and will survive in zones 3 - 8. Blooming period wanes with the arrival of early summer’s heat, seeds ripen quickly and late summer/early fall brings a show of small seedlings. These seedlings quickly grow into sturdy plants and will overwinter to bloom the following spring. I should mention, too, the less common forget-me-not, M. scorpioides, which thrives in boggy areas. They flower over a longer period, often through much of the summer, but are not as showy.
Forget-me-nots (M. sylvatica) prefer cool, moist homes with some shade, but they can survive in hot sun if the soil does not dry out. If you live in southern states, you absolutely must plant them in shade and give them extra moisture if the soil is apt to dry out.
Because myosotis sylvatica are biennials, they die after flowering and dry up. This is not their finest hour. It can be hard to resist the temptation to pull the plants up before seeds set, but if you do, next spring’s glory will forsake you. Tasha never found this stage at all disturbing and rejoiced to know the blue would come back after winter passed to reveal the fresh, clear green of new plants. And too, remember that when forget-me-nots look their worst, many perennials and annuals are just coming into bloom. So, be patient with this brief period of disarray and you will be rewarded.
When the time was right, and the seeds had set, some having fallen upon the ground beneath, Tasha would go about with armloads of dried up forget-me-not plants, scattering the hard, black seeds here and there, preparing her artist’s pallet in anticipation of the coming spring.
*Note: We do harvest and hand-pack a small quantity of seeds from Tasha's garden and offer them for sale. Look for our next batch in the fall. Visit the Tasha's Secret Garden section of our website for gardening booklets, scarves, artwork, and more!