This year I’m focussing on sharing seeds and so for the first time I had a nigella Christmas. I saved nigella seeds from some flowers that my mum grew for me back in May, origami-ed some brown paper envelopes and sent them out to the women in my family.
My family live across the UK in Manchester, Cornwall, London, Yorkshire and Isle of Wight so I find something lovely in the idea of us all growing flowers from the same plant. Some of the women that I’m related to (by blood and marriage) don’t know each other, and one of them I have a difficult relationship with, so me sending these seeds out into the world is a little bit of hope. I hope that they’ll plant them and grow them, and even better if they themselves saved the seed and shared it on, but if not then I’ve made my peace with the fact some of them will stay in a dark drawer somewhere.
Nigella, or Love in a Mist is a self seeding flower that is related to the black cumin Nigella flower, but is poisonous. It’s very good at self seeding so you don’t normally need to save the seed for next year. In the language of flowers it means openness to love. you puzzle me and perplexity. This felt like a good place to begin actively sharing more seeds, and the flower is so easy to grow that I’m hoping even the people receiving them who aren’t normally green thumbed will have some success.
This isn’t something I’ve done before, but little things fell in place that made me want to give this gift. I think about the fact that when my grandma was pregnant with my mum, the foetus that was her contained the ovary that became me. This plant my mum has given me, it’s seeds are being sent off across the country and maybe my cousin’s little girl (that I haven’t met yet because of Covid) will touch the blue flowers of the sister plant that my daughter will point at. My grandparents that I can’t see because they are vulnerable people, will be able to look at the flowers and know that we have some, exactly the same, growing in our garden.
Hopefully we can grow them and be reminded of our connection to each other.