A Mutable Beauty21st May 2016 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
Nicotiana mutabilis is such a lovely plant that I go to considerable lengths to have it in the garden. Its flowers start dark pink, fade to a paler shade and then white, with the tall, airy plant carrying all three colours at once. I overwintered one successfully in the greenhouse and planted it out a few weeks ago, sowed seeds less successfully (only three seedlings from this sowing and none from an earlier one), but to my delight I’ve found that the leggy plants I left in the borders have come through the mild winter and are sending out new stems from ground level. I’m going to have a go at sowing another batch because I think they may germinate better in dry heat, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the early show from the greenhouse plant.