Yet another plant that makes the heart swoon for days past, kiss me over the garden gate is drop dead gorgeous from a mile away. Though a bouquet of it is the perfect prop for a bit of old-fashioned romance, the name is also an apt description of its growth habit. The tall pendulous stems reach 6 feet or more in height and tend to bow over under the weight of the flowers — the perfect plant on the inside of a white picket fence where the cerise-colored blooms can lean over to kiss passerby.
Like many other flowers that have stood the test of time, kiss me over the garden gate (or KMOTGG, for short) is a self-seeding annual. It was a standard feature of country gardens 100 years ago and is so tenacious that it is often found around abandoned homesteads, still blooming and outgrowing the weeds.
If you happen to come across KMOTGG on a jaunt in the country, mark the spot and return in fall to collect the seeds. They are uncommon in nurseries and make a special gift to share with friends. They need to pass through a ‘chilling period’ to germinate, so plant them directly in pots to overwinter and stand back as they erupt from the ground in spring.