I have grown forget-me-nots for many years. I even got them to naturalize a bit in the secret garden at our old house. At our new house, I noticed some forget-me-nots intermixed with hostas growing alongside the garage. The hostas loved it there in spring but looked pretty sad in summer’s heat, so I dug them up and moved them to shadier–or at least moister–spots.
The fact that some forget-me-nots went along with them didn’t concern me at all. Yes, they self-sow where they are happy. Yes, they look ratty after they are done blooming–many plants do. They are not hard to pull up if they are in the wrong place.
But these forget-me-nots were different. Last year they were everywhere, including beds where no hostas were planted. They exploded into bloom in every garden bed as soon as spring was well under way.But I started to feel that they weren’t as pretty as I remembered them. There wasn’t as much blue for the amount of space they were taking up. The flowers, in fact, seemed really tiny. Was I imagining it?
As you can see in the picture at the top of this post, I finally came across the more familiar forget-me-not and put the two flowers side by side. The flowers of this new forget-me-not were tiny. It was not my imagination that they didn’t look as nice.
The forget-me-not commonly grown in gardens is Myosotis sylvatica. You can buy seed from Botanical Interests or Renee’s Garden and probably just about any place that sells flower seeds. They are biennial and the first year make a rosette of leaves, then bloom like crazy the second year. This means you need to plant seed two years in a row in order to have forget-me-nots every year.
I believe this other forget-me-not is Myosotis arvensis. According to Go Botany, field forget-me-not “can aggressively fill in around buildings and unused garden spaces.” Yes, that is exactly what has happened. Now I want to evict this plant from my garden. The problem is, I can’t tell it apart from the “good” forget-me-not until it blooms and I see that the flowers are tiny. Then I have to pull them before they set seed. And of course there are lots of other garden chores demanding my attention and I know not every plant will get pulled. It will be a long battle.
Posted for Wildflower Wednesday, created by Gail of Clay and Limestone, to share wildflowers/native plants no matter where you garden in the blogasphere. “It doesn’t matter if we sometimes show the same plants. How they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most. It’s always the fourth Wednesday of the month!”
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