Thursday, 5 August 2010

Don't Quit Tobacco



I'm pleased I didn't. Nicotiana sylvestris or 'tobacco of the woods' is a plant I just can't be without. Late summer and the first elongated tubular blooms are always a treat for the eye. On warm evenings, when the air's still, the gentle scent pervades, very sweet.



Moths seem to like it too, I guess they're the pollinator back in it's original home in South America? But there's no denying the 'shooting' star like blooms come alive close to dusk. I have it growing in two large tubs near the old cattle barn where it gets sun until around two in the afternoon. I also have it planted near the river by 'La Fermette', another part sun location and it seems to thrive. I'm always amazed that just a pinch of the dust like seed, surface sown back in March matures into such a large plant by late Summer.



Nicotiana 'mutabilis' has got my vote this year. I was a bit dubious about it, especially when Thompson and Morgan describe it as 'Masses of wiry stems topped with a haze of small blooms, each one fading through rose, pink and white tones, giving the effect of three colours on one plant'. It was the three colours on one plant that put me off, a description that 'smacked' of a 'blingy' annual, you know, a bit garish, how wrong could I be?



It's airy, branching habit, each flowering stem elongating with more and more blooms of the subtlest pink and white shades is a delight.

26 comments:

  1. I love the nicotiana varieties! Yours are quite stunning and I can see why you won't be without.

    I can grow these in the deer resistant garden, but I've not had success from direct-sowing seeds. I'm going to have to start in pots.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Personally I like the shorter lime-green varities, but I agree they look so good and never let me down.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There are too many vices I can't partake in to give up tobacco. Oh, wait, you weren't talking about that.

    I had no idea that tobacco bloomed. It's beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful pictures. I love them, too. The scent is delicious. My mother has mutabilis in her Cape Town garden. Ever grown langsdorfii, the green one? Also smells good.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've never seen that plant before. Carla

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful photos - yours always are! Who would think - tobacco - fabulous!

    Vicki

    ReplyDelete
  7. We used to grow tobacco as a crop in the good old Rhodesian days, think that Zimbabwe still grows it. I have to say I never noticed a perfume but perhaps I should change to the garden variety. Diane

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've grown nitotianas before but never one quite like this! Do you think our growing season in Alberta Canada (zone 3) would be long enough that we would get flowers?

    By the way, I really enjoyed your descriptive narrative. Good writing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You got me Rob....have never planted/seeded this.

    Now, a must for next year.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've never seen tobacco plants before. So pretty. The flowers look a lot like the jasmine we have growing in our yard. Are they related?

    Fantastic photos.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I remember you grew the N. sylvestris last year. I love the mutabilis! That's one I'll be looking for.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Rob, I am so glad you did not give up this tobacco! Wow! Well, when you think of an acorn hiding an oak within, you can see these majestic plants coming forth from a small seed. Yours are just gorgeous! Stately! Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hola Rob, these tiny flowers are such darling beauties!!! Did you mention South america, here?? Will start right now looking for them, they are so pretty!!!!
    best regards
    maria cecilia

    ReplyDelete
  14. forgot to mention your pictures.... awesome!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. My nicotiana is just coming into bloom in Atlanta, and the fragrance is delightful as always!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rob, we too love Nicotiana sylvestris in the garden as well as N langsdorffii; both self seed each year in other parts of the garden. Our blooms however are behind yours... something to look forward to.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I totally agree with you, it looks amazingly fresh and summery. Will try it next year! Thanks for tip.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ah I love this plant! My husband is an ex-smoker and the scent really bothers him however.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Rob, thanks for visiting. The manure has gone into the compost bins in the hope that it will have settled down enough for me to use next year. I do not need burning! We had 5 lorry loads of topsoil brought in when we first arrived here. The builder dug a mass of clay out when he put in the large fosse and spread it all over the garden!!!!!! Smaller quantities would be good though for the vegetable garden. Diane

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your scented Nicotiana sylvestri is stunning, Rob, and one plant I wish I had room for in my garden, another reason it's so delightful to visit yours.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love the Nicotiana AND the critters who sip their nectar at night.

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

    ReplyDelete
  22. Gorgeous! I planted nicotiana in my garden this year, but like most of my garden, it doesn't really get enough sun. I'm hoping next year it will get tall enough to catch a few more rays.

    ReplyDelete
  23. You take the most stunning photos - absolute feast for the eyes! The tobacco plants are so elegant, I would be interested to know if you can direct sow that fine seed into the ground/tub or whether you have to use seed trays and the like??

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your nicotania look fantastic - mine got killed off by massive downpours for days immediately after I planted them,then got scorched for several weeks,then drowned again. Poor little seeds never stood a chance!

    Off down to devon for a fortnight - hope the weather down there is as good as yours looks!

    ReplyDelete
  25. so gorgeous- I can only imagine the richness of the scent on a summer evening :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Those are some beautiful varieties. Now that the garden house is finished it will be time to get the soil ready for next year. I'll have to write it in my book as something to plant. March you say, man, that will be here before we know it!

    ReplyDelete