I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: the best part of gardening is the little, unplanned things that spring (or sprout) up. Sure, a perfectly planned and manicured garden can be soothing and very satisfying, but sometimes it’s the unexpected that provides a frisson of joy which makes the whole thing worthwhile.
Every gardener strives for a healthy garden, right? Beneficial bugs, friable soil teeming with happy bacteria and microorganisms, birds and bees and, if we’re lucky, amphibians. All these things indicate a healthy ecosystem, even if it means holes in leaves and chipmunk chewed tomatoes. I was rewarded yesterday evening by spotting this lovely creature happily squatting in my small canna lily mud pond.
A few weeks ago I mercilessly chopped down all of the hollyhocks (Alcea) growing near the house – despite accepting holes in leaves and chipmunk thievery, I couldn’t stand anymore the huge attack of rust that was making the poor plants ugly spires of death. Then, out from the ruins of one clump, look what has appeared:
I don’t know what this little flower is! I think I must have spread one of those free packages of wildflower seeds because I have a bunch of unknown things starting to flower now, including this. It’s pretty eh?
My favourite gladiola – mainly because it’s one of only two I have this year, and I didn’t even plant it! Generally in my climate one needs to lift glad corms in the fall and store them indoors over the winter, but I just couldn’t be bothered TWO autumns ago. These beauties have survived both winters and send up the most gorgeous purple flower stalk. Perhaps it’s time for me to reward it by lifting and storing this year…
This next one isn’t really a surprise – I’ve been watching my new Echiveria send out a baby for the past few weeks but it seemed to catch my attention anyway yesterday. This is the first year I’ve had this lovely succulent, and I’ll have to bring it inside if I want to try and keep it. I don’t know if it will be happy indoors, and, more to the point with this photo, I don’t know if I should pull the pup off and pot it up or leave it be. Will it just flop over at some point?
My final mid August surprise is quite sad, actually….the first flowers on one of my tall red Sedums have opened…..I would have preferred a few more weeks without this foreshadowing thank you very much.
That’s it for me this week – off for a nice long run while it’s cool, then plan to pull up all the beautiful but viciously invasive Campanula rapunculoides before it spreads seed. The Propagator hosts this Saturday show and tell for gardeners around the world to post photos of six things. It’s also on Twitter – just look for the #SixOnSaturday hashtag. Have a great weekend, and stay safe everyone!