The reason to bring Princess Diana's favorite flower into your garden
Four thousand plants fill Kensington Palace's Sunken Garden, but one flower holds a particular significance. This is how to care for Diana's most-beloved bloom
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The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex unveiled a new statue of their late mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday last Thursday. The tribute stands above the redesigned Sunken Garden – a space that Diana loved the most when at Kensington Palace.
The Palace re-landscaped the surrounding area to create a therapeutic setting that will act as a permanent tribute to the late Princess. The redesign involved a mass planting of over 4,000 natural jewels, including Princess Diana's favorite flower: forget-me-nots (Myosotis scorpioides).
Alongside the watercolor hues of the commemorative forget-me-nots, the garden includes a variety of sweet peas, lavenders, and roses, which contribute to making the space a place of reflection in Diana's honor. The unique beauty of the garden is expected to reset garden trends worldwide, and at its center is her favorite bloom.
With their delicate ambiance and ornate aquatic tones, the beauty of this flower endures today. But what makes forget-me-nots so alluring?
'Their symbolism in Floriography is wonderful, and they are considered to represent long-lasting friendships that cannot be broken, and true love,' explains Creative Director at Bloom (opens in new tab), Larry Walshe.
'Sending a promise to a loved one that you will never forget them or as a symbol that your relationship cannot be shaken or broken is such a lovely notion that we can't help but adore these delicate blooms,' he adds.
Here, floricultural experts share their garden ideas – and their tips for bringing this special bloom into your garden.
How to take care of forget-me-nots
1. Cut back after flowering
Garden expert Roz Chandler (opens in new tab) suggests cutting back forget-me-nots just after flowering and dividing every few years, which could offer a second flush of flowers. These flowers are perennial and will 'come back bigger each year, without a problem. This means the flowers are a simple investment that will act as a tribute for years in the future.
2. Watch the water levels
'Forget-me-nots love water and thrive in moist soil, so ensuring the plant is receiving enough water is key. On days which haven't seen much rain, the plant should be watered by hand, especially in climates that are hot and sunny,' shares the spokesperson for FlowerCard (opens in new tab), Liam Lapping. However, though the flower thrives in moist conditions, it is equally important to ensure the soil has adequate drainage to prevent the plant from rotting.
3. Grow in cooler climates
'Forget-me-nots can't handle too much sun or heat; therefore, it is best to grow the flower in shaded areas and in cooler climates,' Liam shares. In order to improve growth, he also recommends treating the soil with all-purpose fertilizer at least once a season, which will promote ideal growing conditions.
4. Resist the urge to remove old blooms
'If you want to see your forget-me-nots seed year after year, avoid the urge to remove them from your garden as they hit the end of their lifecycle and start to die, as removing the flowers will decrease the likelihood of them growing next season,' Liam explains. RHS (opens in new tab) Lecturer Kevin Tooher emphasizes this warning, reminding us now to cut back in autumn, or 'you will lose next year's flowers.'
5. Plant to encourage wildlife
Kevin suggests growing forget-me-nots to attract wildlife into your garden, as it is adored by bees and pollinators. Roz adds that the plant isn't poisonous for cats, dogs, birds, or humans, meaning it is a safe addition to gardens of all sizes.
We're taking country garden ideas from Kensington Palace's beautiful Sunken Garden and will follow these tips throughout the blooming season.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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