N for Nicotiana, O for Oxalis and Ox eye daisy

N is for Nicotiana, my favourite new plant this year. I’d not grown these before and I obviously misread the size on the packet, when I planted the seeds, as they soon grew out of their pots, and I began to wonder if I’d labelled them correctly! Rather alarmed at how big they were getting, and not having a big enough space for them I rehomed a few plants. The remaining ones I put in my biggest pots and watched with interest. When they’d filled the pot at the bottom, they started growing upwards until they were several feet tall! Then the beautiful pure white flowers emerged. At first I was a little disappointed at the scent, until one evening I ventured their way, and discovered it was the evening air which tempted them to release their most heady scent. The local moths were delighted and descended from all around! The bloomed incessantly for months, well into late Autumn.  They will certainly be top of my list for planting next year! Maybe one or two smaller varieties too.

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O is for oxalis, another nameless purchase from the bootfair. The red leaves multiplied quickly and then little flower heads appeared, a lovely addition to my pots. I researched whether it was likely to survive the Winter. Research suggested that some varieties might indeed survive the Winter, but that others were best nurtured as greenhouse plants. I decided to hedge my beds, and separated the thriving pot into two plants. One to go in the house, and one to stay in the garden. More fool me, as both sections promptly collapsed and died! However after around six weeks the apparently dead pot in the bedroom, sprung back to life, with those lovely red shamrock leaves. So we are in with a chance!

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And one more O – for ox eye daisy (also known as moon daisy or dog daisy!) One of my favourites, they are cheery and resilient and multiply themselves everywhere, but not difficult to control. In the Summer you can often see hundreds of them at the side of the roads. A glorious wild flower, loved by bees and butterflies, and me…

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