"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Things that make a gardener happy.

As a gardener sometimes it's the little things that make us happy.  I think with all the hard work that we put into our garden sometimes it's nice to find things that we don't have to work at.  The little surprises we find as we're going about the weeding, watering, digging and planting.  
Things like:
Flowers that bloom no matter how much they get stepped on or ignored like the
Ornamental Strawberry (fragaria ananassa) 'Pink Panda'.

Flower buds on plants I didn't even realize were there, like this Foxglove (digitalis) growing between a planter and the Japanese Maple.

Beauty that came from flowers cross-pollinating in colors I didn't even know could exist sometimes.

Plants that can grow anywhere surprise me when plants I've done everything right for don't grow at all.

Surprise seedlings from plants I love like this verbena bonariensis.

Seedlings that germinate in a few days like the Zinnia 'Envy' that I'm so excited to see.

Knowing that juicy treats haven't been eaten by the slugs yet.

Figs growing on a tree I thought was dead.

Potatoes that my 2 year old planted, that I was sure would never sprout.

Flower buds on the first tomatoes I've ever started from seed.

These are some things that make this gardener happy!  

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  1. That is so true. Your Columbines change color and with me it's the Lupines. Just the strangest thing. My (supposedly) hot pink and white one is opening and I can't wait to see what color it is. Ever heard of musical Lupines? Well they're switching places and changing colors like you wouldn't believe - colors I didn't buy.
    Anyway you've had lots of nice little surprises and I know I have too - I just can't think under pressure. ;-) Great post as always.

  2. Those kind of surprises make me quite happy too Catherine. I just started Verbena Bonariensis after being unable to find it in plant form. I am delighted it germinated easily and I hope it self sows like yours when I get it going. I'll have to look up Zinnia Envy ~ I'm not sure what it looks like.

  3. Isn't it something? All those things you mentioned especially a plant growing anywhere.
    I read you post on your daughter's fairy garden, my, she is creative! A very cute place for any fairy to live, pixie, elf and/or even a troll only a mother could love!

  4. All of these things should make you happy!!

  5. Yes indeed! Sometimes it's all in our attitude, isn't it? For years I was balking (swearing really) at the infernal Verbena bonariensis seedlings littering every freaking inch of bare soil in my backyard. This after neglecting to deadhead the previous year's stock. Never again, I said. That was like, 5 maybe 6 years ago. Seedlings are STILL emerging and you know what? I'm letting them stay. I've come full circle.

    Isn't it amusing when, like your columbine example, plants would rather grow in the pavement crevices? Kind of like a kid who would rather play with the box and the ribbon instead of the toy! I had this happen repeatedly with Cerinthe major. It just refused all pampering. Serendipity is so entertaining.

  6. Oh my Catherine, those make us all happy seeing them happening for you! But the best in my humble opinion is the fig on the dead tree! I have tried and tried to grow figs with zero leaves even, let alone fruit. Happiness abounds in your lovely garden! :-)

  7. That columbine is a superb colour!

    Isn't it great spotting the Verbena bonariensis seedlings. I've got lots of them around too.

    I really like the ornamental strawberry.


  8. All those things make me happy too. But growing plants from seed is my greatest joy (and dogs in the garden, of course).

  9. How wonderful your fig tree surprised you and has figs too.That is a beautiful columbine. I think cross pollination is what happened to my roses.A mystery. Is Zinnia envy the big red and white blooms? Your two year old has a green thumb too.

  10. Like you, it always amazes me when a plant comes up in a crack in the sidewalk after we pet and pamper those in the garden bed!!!

  11. Those are wonderful "happies" Catherine. How nice to find them.

  12. The purple columbine is wonderful!

    This is a wonderful post, too.

  13. I agree with EVERY SINGLE ONE!

  14. Linda - I've had lupines do that too. Pink ones that changed to white. Do you think some have reseeded and these are their babies? I'm still waiting to see what color my lupines are, I've forgotten :)

    Kathleen - I think you will like verbena. I usually move it all over. It doesn't always live long, but once it starts to reseed you'll always have more.
    'Envy' is a green zinnia, this is my first time growing it.

    Dawn - These little surprises are what makes gardening fun.
    Thanks for complimenting my daughter's garden, she just has so much fun creating them.

    Darla - They sure do :)

    Grace - You never run out of verbena once it's in the garden, I'm moving some to my backyard. I really like how it plants itself in unusual places. I've had plants before that I kept pulling only to decide to just leave them.

    Frances - I really had given up on the fig until a couple of weeks ago when I found teeny figs appearing, now they are just bigger every day.

    Rob - This columbine is almost a navy blue color, so pretty. I love the strawberry too, they are just covered in flowers.

    Prospero - I agree growing things from seed are extremely rewarding, especially if it's something edible. And yes, dogs in the garden make me happy too!

    Lona - It's pretty amazing what nature can do, I'm going to visit your blog to see about your roses. I've never heard of roses doing that.

    Mildred - It's really fun to see, I usually leave them just to see how well it will grow. I could never have tried to plant that columbine there.

    Susie - Thanks, it's fun to see the things that can happen in a garden that don't really require a lot of work.

    sweet bay - It is the prettiest color, the only one that came up that way. The rest are very purple and white.

    allenaim photography - Thanks :)

  15. Great post, it's the surprises in the garden that make me happiest.

  16. And they make me happy too. So nice to get joy from the little things!

  17. What an awesome columbine you lucky girl! Mine are that pinkish raspberry color or yellow. I also envy that you can identify seedlings. I have things popping up in the veggie bed but don't know what they are except that they are from last year!

  18. Susie - It is those surprises that add fun to the garden.

    Tina - Some days I really need to just enjoy the little things instead of feeling overwhelmed by the big picture.

    Melanthia - There are plenty of seedlings coming up that I have no idea what they are :) I'm not even sure if I planted them, but the way they're coming up it looks like I did.

  19. I agree with your every word here. I love it when things pop up unexpectedly between the paving stones. You could never plant them there! I have marjorum popping up everywhere and geraniums. I always leave them because you could never plant them there. Alchemilla mollis is in flower now so I should have some of those appearing in all sorts of places. I love them and violas and foxgloves and and.....

  20. Well, I don't blame you for being happy! Garden happenings always do lift our spirits. Unless of course we get invaded by the dreaded Japanese beetles. Then, it's war!

  21. I second each one of those, that's a lot of happiness in one post! :) How awesome that your fig survived, I'll have to ask you more about that sometime as I'm considering getting one and putting it in a planter in a sunny spot but I was worried about hardiness. Those 'Pink Panda's just continue to delight me as well, I love how they wander around and put their cheery pink faces up all over the place but are easy enough to pull out if they're not wanted. Congrats on your tomato! And your little one's potatoes. Those are going to be extra sweet to eat this summer! PS I talked to someone at Tilth today about potatoes, she said that June is the month to plant winter storage potatoes, just in case you were thinking about that. Not sure I will but it's tempting...


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