Welcome to part 2 of this weedy 6 part series looking at everyday plants you can meet in your Kietz
Here is a well known plant you probably recall- or if you don't- let me refresh your memory: Forget-me-not!
Forget-me-not is a whimsically named weed with a history of pleasing people of all ages.
Children love the bright colour,
Older people might enjoy its melancholy history.
But what do we really know about it?
Why is it called 'Forget-me-not'?
The answer, according to 'Harvesting History' at https://harvesting-history.com/ is here:
'The common name, Forget Me Not, comes from a German legend about a knight who died trying to get the flowers for his lover and called out with his last breath, “Forget me not!”
So there you go,
Here are 4 other surprising facts about this blue eyed flower:
1 Forget-me-not is sometimes called called scorpion grass because the shape of it's unfurling flowering parts. The stalk of unopened flowers is said to resemble the curve of a Scorpions tail.
2 It is used in Germany to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the 2 world wars in a similar manner to the use of red Poppies in the UK. This is both interesting and sad as I found it growing here in a garden covering a World War 2 battle ground ( the Besitzer of this garden found the top part of a Russian tank in her shrubbery and she keeps it in her shed)
3 The flowers are edible- but quite forgettable!
4 The plant has been used to treat lung complaints and eye infections. (probably the use of the flower for eye infections was based upon the old idea of 'like treating like' because of the blooms resemblance to a clear blue eye.' Like treating like' is simply the ancient idea that a plant that resembles a particular body part can be used in folk medicine to treat that body part.
For 35 seconds of unforgettable Forget-me-not goodness watch this video:
Is it a weed? is it a flower? what makes one or the other? well here I am investigating.
I think a weed is simply a plant in the wrong place.
Weed or flower if you feel like growing your own Forget-me-nots this is the the right time.
Sow directly outdoors in May or June where you want them to grow or start in small pots of compost where you can keep a (blue) eye on them.
You can also start them in September for flowering the following year.
The seed is very small so don't bury it deeply- simply press on surface of compost.
Water the compost before sowing to ensure you do not wash away the small seeds.
Keep the compost damp.
The plant is a biennial- biennial simply means it will flower in its second year. This initial waiting time will be offset by the satisfaction (or exasperation) of knowing that once it gets growing you will never have to sow it again because it will take care of itself and self sow absolutely everywhere.
Dig up small self sown plants that you find growing about your garden in the wrong place and put them where you want to see them- magic transformation from weed to flower!
This is a very easy flower (or weed!) that enjoys damp soil and a bit of shade.
If you would like to talk to me about weeds or want some gardening help send me a message- I am here for any plant related problem, challenge or goal you might have.
Visit the rest of this website to see what other services you might find helpful.
I do gardening so you can sit back and smell the flowers.
Enjoy your weeds!